Me Versus Nature

Spoiler Alert: Nature wins.

The Pale Murderer Cometh

Now that spring has arrived, I’m faced with an age-old question. What am I going to canstockphoto11157518murder this year? Thus far, six house spiders, two house centipedes, eight ants, an errant box elder bug, and just five minutes ago, a carpenter ant who decided startling the shit out of me by crawling on my keyboard was a good plan. It wasn’t.

I am a very conflicted person when it comes to creatures. I research the creatures I come across. I don’t know, I guess I try to understand them in the hopes I won’t shriek die, die, die while hitting them with the broom. House centipedes are fantastic hunters – they eat spiders. As much as I’d like to remember that, when I see one of them slither their way across the wall, my primal instinct takes over. Maybe at some point in human history that instinct was “Yum, snack”, but I tend to believe even cavemen pulverized those things with clubs while grunting orf, orf, orf (translation: die, die, die).

Furred and Feathered Jerks

canstockphoto20447169The rabbits have lopped off numerous tulips, leaving a trail of colorful petals across the yard. They don’t eat the flowers. They just nip them off, as if they’re a distraction from the real num-nums, the leaves. It makes me think that the rabbits in my yard are assholes.

As soon as I filled the planters with my desperate need for color canstockphoto16122084– geraniums, impatiens, and marigolds, the pots got dug out by the squirrels who a) forgot where the hell they buried their food stores last fall and b) just like a tasty nosh of fresh root.

canstockphoto20642408The house finches have taken over the old robin’s nest we forgot to remove in the fall and now they squabble outside my study window all day long. A young cardinal has taken over a feeder, choo-choo-chooing to let everyone else know it’s mine-mine-mine. A pair of Northern Harriers set up shop in the tree next door and for hours at a time, she shrieks at him to bring her food or get on with the mating, you lout.

It’s Self-Defense!

While I enjoy riding my high horse about a yard without pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizer, the downside is that I am outnumbered by the sheer quantity of creatures who would like to eat our food, live in our walls, dangle in front of our faces, snake out from under the dryer, wait for us in the shower, and in general, make us feel very uncomfortable in our living quarters. And it’s not even mosquito season yet.

canstockphoto12050597This is the first house I’ve lived in for any amount of time. Before, it was all apartments. They spray for bugs in apartments, hence the infrequency of encounters. We’ve never had our house sprayed for bugs. We’re classic DIY people who think vinegar is magic (it is, it is!) and try to follow environmental recommendations for pest control. Generally, Minnesota gets a good, cold killing season. Many of the critters are forced into retreat, marshaling their forces for the longer days of freaking out humans.

I love nature. When it’s outside. Well, not right outside. Maybe a restraining order’s distance. And I try to be respectful of life in general. There are several house spiders who reside in the corners of the kitchen. That’s fine. They eat gnats that show up when produce does. And occasionally, I talk to them. It’s when they crawl over the lip of my coffee mug that I completely lose my shit and become a serial killer.

I remember once reading about monks who walked carefully, lest they step on a creature on the ground. And I get it. I get the whole respect life, creatures have value, humans are really an invasive species thing. But critters outnumber us and if they ever develop longer life cycles, elevated thinking, and inter-species communication, we are all dead.

Your Honor, I’d like to present the first (and possibly only) piece of evidence for the Defense:canstockphoto7083768

Our client could have only reacted the way she did, in self-defense.

Your honor? Your honor?

But that was evidence sir! Why are you shrieking?

Judge: Excuse my outburst. Bailiff, please get an evidence bag for my gavel.

The Defense rests its case.

28 Comments on “Me Versus Nature

  1. I also try to respect life in all its forms but I must confess that I’m not a big fan of creepy crawlies. I spook easily.

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  2. Very cute, Michelle. Savannah is an entomologist’s paradise, and we have more than our share of vampiristic bugs, but I’ve yet to see a house centipede. We had a short hard freeze this past winter, so I’m hoping for fewer bugs, especially gnats and mosquitoes. Last year I was inundated with three types of ants.

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    • When I visited countries in Europe, I knew the booze. When I visited states in the South, I knew the critters. Scorpions in Texas. Huge red roaches/Palmetto bugs in South Carolina. Still, even in the north, we seem to have our share of the creepers – we just get a break from them on occasion.

      When my mom and family came to the states, they lived in Savannah for a year. Ever since then, they lived in northern states. The bugs must have scared them out of the south.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, very funny, and the images add more fun. Nicely laid out, too. Like you, I am pro-nature so long as it stays outside. If it gets all up in my business, I go to war with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks – I needed a good laugh and sometimes it has to be self-generated. And damn, these critters are interesting on a hike in the woods, but irritating as hell when I’m trying to have a cup of coffee and relax.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, you made me snort out loud, blowing the cat hair off my chair into a tiny funnel cloud. (Ooo! Poetry!)

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  5. Something to look forward to, Michelle: my ophthalmologist pointed out that I now have several “floaters” in my eyes. They cause us to see bugs, critters, shadows, and such that really aren’t there–usually in our peripheral vision. He says they’re common as we age. They can be surgically removed if bothersome, but I’m learning to enjoy the company.

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  6. Funny post, Michelle!
    We get lots of squirrels and also coyotes run rampant here!

    One morning I was walking my dog early, and a coyote ran right down the middle of the street in front of me! Nature knows no bounds!

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  7. I am the same way when it comes to indoor insects. I’m cool if you stay out of doors but end up in my home – or worse my bed – and It’s all over. Spiders seems to stay out of the way so I keep them around. And let me tell you something else – the thing that will send me running are those weird camel spiders or jumping hellions from the depths of the dark lord. I HATE those things and will abandon my home if one ever gets in. They kept me out of my parents basement for 3 years. Ugh!

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    • Jumping anything freaks me out, but what does it in our house is the centipedes, which move lightening fast – as in you got to get the broom of death and come back 10 seconds later and they’ve vanished. So then you spend the rest of your shower or night wondering where the creepy freak went.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Nice choice on the images! Ha! Least you don’t have a freaking woodpecker on your gutter…or maybe you do…?

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    • Our deck is super old and about to be replaced. The squirrels gnaw on it and the woodpeckers love banging away at it. Occasionally a confused woodpecker will tap on our steel siding, but mostly it’s the deck. Yesterday we had two species of birds that have never been in our yard or at our feeders. I don’t think it bodes well for the environment.

      Liked by 1 person

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