Wednesday, July 25, 2007

In my own backyard

The last couple days have been the days for weird surprises in the backyard.

Night before last, we were coming home and saw a SOMETHING. It wasn't a cat, it wasn't a fox, and it looked (to me) a lot like a marten. It had a pointy face and rounded triangle ears back and high on its head, long legs (this is where marten breaks down a bit), long tail, relatively uniform color with more variation (pale buff chin?) on the face, and ran front-back-front-back, not deedly-deedly-deedly like a cat. Don't know what it was. I do know a whole list of what it was not.

Last night, a mantis lunged up out of my carrots and beets when I watered them (and it). It watched me quizzically, no doubt wondering if I was danger or food, while I talked to it. Lovely, pale brown thing. So very welcome in my yard... eat pest bugs, little mantis. I'll be careful of you when I pick beets.

I didn't get a picture because we have 1 MIA camera and 1 broken camera (due to be repaired free of charge by Canon, because it is a known error). We searched high and low for the missing one, but it never has worked too well and who knows where we put it when we moved?

(I am also missing a Very Important Cable, but that is neither here nor there. Obviously. Or I wouldn't be missing it. Last move, it was, somewhat bizarrely, a huge box of baking trays (cookie sheets, muffin tins, cooling racks, etc.), my salad spinner, a few utinsils, and suchlike that went over the wall.)

Then, near twilight, Pat called me into the kitchen to look out at the feeder. A pretty little rat was sitting on it, nibbling. Not greedily like the accursed squirrels, but very daintily.

Bizarrely, I had found woodrats online earlier in the very same day when googling for California wildlife. Otherwise I would never have remembered them. They have sleek hairy tails, not scaly icky tails like a Norwegian ratty-rat.

We have a woodrat.

He is exquisite, soft brown with curled-forward dark whiskers, bright eyes, and plush tail. Pretty. Gentle looking. Polite. Not entirely unwelcome at my feeders.

Nonetheless, he is not welcome in the house... he must stay Out There.

What's new for you?

1 comment:

KingSurlyDave said...

I'm sorry, Linda. I ate your chocolate squirrel...