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August 10th, 2012

The war with nature continues at Casa de dos Quesos.

In the beginning of summer, I learned that the first words out of your husband’s mouth in the morning should not be

“We need an exterminator.”

Four raccoons and six hundred dollars later, we were alone in the house again, with a capped chimney.

Sort of alone.  I do not count mice.  It only depresses me.

I do not know where the raccoons went, after they were put in the van.  I am choosing to think it was a raccoon play land, with lots of open garbage cans.

It’s really kind of a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ thing.

But the other day, when I came out of my bedroom in the morning and found a pair of badminton racquets propped against the wall, I knew it had been another fun night in the country.

The bats are back.

Now, before you start in on me about bats being endangered, and cruelty to animals in general, let me assure you that I love animals right up to the point where they cross my threshold.  As far as I can tell, bats are not endangered around here.  We don’t have a lot of them, but we have all we need.  And about once a year, one of them gets into the house.

If  you can’t manage to chase it out of the house, a badminton racket is one of the best solutions.  It screws up their radar.  It also has a long reach, makes a good bat spatula for scooping stunned bats and is light enough for even a non athletic person to use.

It is also more practical than #2 son’s first instinct, which was to sit living room recliner waving his laptop over his head trying to scare the thing away.  I am taking his word on that, since I had already gone to bed.

The dog does nothing.  The cat is semi retired.  If she is hunting, she goes for things that are not so much work.

Last year, it was one day after #2 son went off to college.  The DH went to bed early, and I was sitting alone in the living room and feeling kind of empty nesty.  And then, I wasn’t alone anymore.  A huge bat did a couple of laps and disappeared.

It tried the same thing the next night, and I saw it go down the basement stairs.  I closed that door and stuck a post it note saying BAT on it.

The next night, I made my husband stay up with a racquet and limber up for a backhand.

The bat did not show up.  My husband gave me a skeptical look and went to bed at midnight.  I have not seen him for a year.

I was gas lighted by a bat.

If this is the same one, I hope #2 son hits it out of the court.

We are also having issues with bees around the edge of my fishless fish pond.  At first, I was worried that these were wasps. But the longer they stayed, the more obvious it became that they are escaped honey bees from the neighbor’s hives.

They crowd an inch deep around the waterfall, not bothered by the fact that the pond belongs to me.  And that, as an impressionable writer, I might be imagining scenes from The Killer Bees.

Apparently, they have not seen this movie.  They fly on a regular commuter route back and forth from the neighbor’s house.  Thy slam into me as I walk out to get the mail.  They excuse themselves and go around.  Then they come back, and bring their friends.

I am getting used to it.  And coming to the conclusion that it may be necessary, in the future, to put in a fountain just for bees.

Yesterday, I went to the Wisconsin State Fair, and stopped at the honey producers booth.  I bought some honey and asked about the bees.

Apparently, they are not just drinking up my pond.  They collect drops of water.  They carry them back to the hive.  Then they flap their little wings to evaporate the water and cool the hive.

I am providing central air for bees.