Wild Kingdom

It seems like we’ve been having one small animal incident after another here lately! First, we had our friend the goshawk hanging around again. Sorry for the graininess of the photo but I took it through the screen in the front window. Then the other day, although I didn’t get any photos for obvious reasons, suddenly there was a bat swooping around inside the house! After dark we stop using a particular door because there are bats flying around that side of the house and a couple have slipped in that way before. But this was only 6:30 p.m. and I hadn’t been outside in a few hours so I’m not really sure how it got inside in the first place. I quickly tucked the dogs away in the bathroom, closed the door, and opened up a screen and door so the bat had two possible escape routes – I didn’t see it leave, but I’m sure it got out just fine.

Then just recently, we were eating hamburgers we had just grilled on our small electric grill, inside, but near an open window with a screen. Suddenly bees started showing up, attracted by the smell. (These are the bees from the ‘bee’ guy’s hives down the road. I never knew bees were such carnivorous scavengers until earlier this year we saw them skeletalize a dead mouse – I know, it was pretty creepy and gross!) We didn’t think anything of it until somehow they started getting INSIDE and flying around the remnants on the grill. A good number of them snuck right inside the grill and the grease trap, so we sacrificed the grill and took it outside, setting it down on a folding chair in the yard. (Which attracted MORE bees, but at least it was outside!) So then, after much debating and failed attempts at bee coersion, John and I each settled on our own method of releasing the other inside bees into the wild. I was using a plastic pitcher and a sauce pan lid – I’d scoop up a bee, slam the lid down, then let it go outside, which was actually easier than trying to kill them all. Luckily they weren’t very aggressive and were pretty easily scooped, but there must have been over twenty rather active bees zipping about.

In the meantime, of course, the hamburger slathered grill was attracting more than bees – by this time I was finding the whole incident amusing and ridiculous and so took photos through the blinds on the window in the door. First, there were two ground squirrels who noticed the grill and tussled a bit, probably trying to determine who got the booty.

Then, another one joined the challenge, and there was much sudden running around and general squirrely activity.

Ahhh, it seems a champion was chosen somehow from the brief yet poignant squirrel olympics. Said squirrel wasted no time approaching the prize.

And finally, with all four feet on the grill, it was known far and wide who was top squirrel in the bunch!

Needless to say, I’m pretty sure we’re never going to use that grill again – LOL. We’re thinking about donating it to the squirrels for their annual barbeque and nut gathering they hold in mid-October.

Okay – I thought I was done with the wildlife but yesterday morning had yet ANOTHER incident. Every so often when I’m spraying water into the turtle pond in the morning, a hummingbird will buzz by, attracted by the sparkling spray. Sometimes they even dip their feet in the stream and take drinks. Yesterday morning was no exception – a little green hummingbird flew up, about 1.5 feet from my face, and was dancing in the spray, flying out and coming back, resting on the chicken wire, then doing it again. Except at one point it misjudged a bit and caught the spray (which I didn’t have going FULL blast, thankfully) with too much of its body and ended up plastered against the chicken wire! It all happened in an instant and I stopped the spray as fast as I could. I felt so bad for this tiny little bird, all soaking wet, and hoped I didn’t hurt it. As soon as the spray was off though it sort of shook itself off, slightly dazed, but then flew off just fine. I guess we both learned a lesson – I’ll make the spray as SOFT as possible if there’s a hummingbird around and they’ll be more careful about keeping their little bodies out of the way. Geesh!

And I was just about to post this when we had an ant attack in the kitchen – fire ants attacking the dog food dish. Enough already with the wildlife for a little while, okay?!

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