Spinning, Knitting, Crocheting, Organic Gardening, Living off-grid, and chasing sheep - because- I'm, like, NOT SANE!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

We have batts bats!

Actually, we have both. Only the batts that were up in the shop yesterday have been packaged and are ready to go to their new homes. The bats, on the other hand, seem to be intending to make our little domicile their 'summer home'.

I don't mind bats, really, they are quite the companion for a homesteader in the eco-green-lovin'-hippie-tree-huggin sort of way that I generally go. I've been fascinated with bats for some time, dating way back when I was in school in Austin and used to go down to the Congress Ave. Bridge to watch the hoards of bat mamas and bat babies fly out from under the bridge....it was awesome.

And what's not to like about them? They eat tons of mosquitoes and, from one family who's having a wet, hot, humid summer in Maine wherein said bloodsuckers from hell are in full force, this is a very good thing. They help pollinate fruit trees, they are virtually harmless, and they really don't TRY to come in contact with humans so even if you're not crazy about them - there's not much to worry about.

UNLESS. Unless you and your husband built your house with solar lighting, heat dispersion in winter, and everything else in mind except that the primitive eaves you built on the roof would look much like one of those purdy bat houses to a creature who doesn't see very well and might not notice the proportions of his bat house are a bit unrealistic and that maybe that is not, indeed, HIS bat house. So, if I'm not afraid of the little critters, and they do so much good, why, then, am I here complaining that at least once if not 10 times a summer, we end up having to capture a very confused bat and release him/her to the outside world? Two reasons, really:

1. While I'm not afraid of bats, they do one thing when they land on a hard surface that really creeps me out, (IF this hard surface happens to be your face after you and hubster have finished a 'discussion' and are just freshly tucked in and lights turned out ready to go to bed, the drama of the situation may be greatly increased) they wriggle. It was a kind thing, really, when three years ago the above described scenario happened, that the poor creature didn't use his scratchy claws to tear my face up. Instead, he just wriggled, ever light as a feather, up the side of my face and jumped off to fly across the room. Wriggling is where I draw the line. Life for me is hard enough without something betraying the confines of a spine and side-winding itself before my very eyes. I can't explain what sensation this brings about in me but it is like combining car sickness with nails down a chalkboard. Yea, I don't do wriggling. It would have caused me to die of instant heart attack if I hadn't been so determined to live just to say to hubter, "I told you I heard something a while ago!". Which I had....and he had answered the way he always does....shrug, say she's crazy, and get back to whatever it is that is on your mind at the time. Which leads to #2.

2. I seem to lack the ability that one aforementioned part of this duo possesses to catch the little buggers without harming it. There's no disputing, hubster is an expert bat catch/release agent. He swoops in on the confused and dazed critter (you might be feeling that way, too, if everyone was screaming and running away from you), place a large container over them (thank the gods for large cottage cheese tubs!), slide a bit of cardstock in there, and take the screaming banshee outside to release him. Me? I drop the cup. Or, once, I put the cup over one of the bat's claws and worried for days that I'd killed him/her or doomed them to a clawless existence. So, at a time when I am maybe looking for ways to prove that I can do anything and everything a hubster can do.....this bat family marches in and gives us three days in a row of 'visitations'.

That would be a record. Usually, it takes only a time or two per bat and then they get the message - the smaller bat box is theirs, or the barn, but not the place where the screeching two leggeds live. This bat must be having a really bad week because he just didn't seem to understand that rule.

Not to worry, we've had our third night free of bat monkey business so we'll just be moving right along until the next bewildered little guy comes along. It was a perfect opportunity, though, for me and things 1,2 and 3 to brush up on our bat 'know-how' and to appreciate them for the fascinating creatures that they are....and it didn't fail to meet anyone's notice that the last week has seen a dramatic decrease in mosquitoes in the house. We'll call the glass half full for now.

We were also a little disappointed to find that we have to DELAY our camping trip until early next week. Whilst out running errands a couple of days ago, I noticed something weird about the car. Mentioned it to hubster, got same response. Then, he drove it and - same thing (still, do you think anyone in this house ever listens to me? What, do I have 'nutzo' tattooed on my back or something? okay, so I really don't think I want you to answer that)so he took it in. Turns out, it was a real good thing, too, because there are two bad ball joints on it. We've scheduled to have them fixed but I obviously won't be able to do that on Friday and still get us to the beach on, well, Friday. On the bright side, we will be there during the week when buses are easier to catch and the shops and restaurants aren't filled out to the sidewalks. The campground is a little quieter and (hopefully) this repair means we will not be in danger of a tire falling off, say, like when we're driving up through the park along a rocky coastline. These are things to celebrate, non? Bats are trained, batts are heading out to a loving home, and EKF buggy will be safe and sound for our trip.

There's been some knitting, some spinning (yes, to increase the madness I am still keeping up with the Tour de Fleece challenge) but nothing that is worth photographing (that would be knitting progress) or ready to come before the camera (that would be the un-set skeins of handspun).

Things we're not celebrating? That this is the third day of 90+ temps with high humidity and poor air quality. Ah, the joys of summer living in vacationland! I know my southern friends are busy rolling on the floor laughing at me for complaining about 90 degree summer days but I am just small and mean-hearted enough to smile deep inside at imagining them walking up an icy footpath with the wind blowing and a below zero blizzard creeping up their backs...so there!