Three Mouse Night

Last weekend was warm but dry and pleasant .  Both Woody and I did a lot of work outside.  I was mostly weeding.  He was spraying organic compounds supposed to get rid of blossom end rot that is destroying our tomatoes and another  supposed to keep off the rabbits that are eating up our garden entirely.  The rabbits enjoy all the mountain lion urine and hot pepper spray.  They treat it all as salad dressing.  Nothing stops them crunching.  In the meantime, we’re used to occasional mice coming into the house in winter, but this year they are coming in all the time. But we had a Three Mouse Night.  Xena caught a mouse around 8:30 and ate it.  Then half an hour later, she caught a second mouse.  She killed it efficiently, breaking its neck at once, then she carried it into the livingroom and put it down in front of me on my bare foot.  She had eaten a mouse and this one was for me.  I was quite full from supper so did not comply.  Outside it went into the bushes.

In the middle of the night I woke to pee, and there was Schwartzie in the tub with a live mouse running around.  Xena was watching but cats have a strong sense of not taking each other’s prey or toys away.  When I rose @ 7 in the morning, the mouse was in the tub, alive, unharmed.  Schwartzie went off to have breakfast and I picked up the mouse in a dry washcloth and carried it out into the woods, where it ran rapidly off.

We’ve never had a worse garden year except for the first year Woody moved in with me.  He had to learn to garden and like it. I don’t know if we’re going to get enough tomatoes to do more than eat a few sliced for supper now and then. I don’t know if we’re getting any peppers, eggplants or late cucumbers.  The first batch that I started in the greenhouse back in march were prolific but were dying so I pulled them last Sunday.  The new ones are vulnerable to predation when they’re young.

We have the new poetry book in order, a tentative title and we started printing out last Monday so I can go over every section, reformat for the number of lines on the Knopf pages and make semifinal judgements on what to include.  We’ll resume together next Monday putting the last four sections together so I can work on them.  It’s been almost impossible to go anywhere as the roads are clogged with tourists and summer people – it’s especially bad when it’s cloudy or rainy, when they can’t all go to the beach and watch great white sharks.

The people who want to kill all the seals make me sick.  Seals are intelligent, inquisitive and often friendly. It’s not the seals that are the problem.  It’s global warming.  The waters are much warmer than they used to be.  The lobsters have left for Maine.  There was always lobstering here – no more. We’ve changed from zone 6 to zone 7 officially.  We see weeds we never had and many more bugs.  The ticks continue to multiply and now we have six tick diseases, a full smorgasbord of crippling and sometimes fatal plagues.  We no longer see some of the birds who used to be around every  year, but now we have vultures.  Far fewer butterflies and bumblebees.  But plenty of rabbits.

 We never see skunks but instead we have fisher cats, a fierce predator from the weasel family. I always rather liked the skunks. We had one a decade ago who would follow  us around outside, never sprayed. I don’t enjoy the greater warmth and danager from fire and hurricanes.

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