Photo by Jon
It's 90 degrees today (that's Fahrenheit, for those of you in the Belgian Congo). This is the kind of hot autumn weather I thought I escaped when I left California. And Texas. It has followed me here to the wilds of Tennessee.
But relief is in sight! Cooler weather is predicted by next week. And in another month or so I'll be bitching about the cold.
Actually, these are perfectly glorious days. The shadows are longer. Dusk comes soon - especially in the secluded huddle of these looming forests and cozy hills. Nature is surging with frantic activity. There's a surplus of birds, squirrels, 'possums, deer, and other critters. And insects.
Bees, wasps, butterflies, dragonflies, spiders. Every kind of spider you could imagine, and many you wouldn't want to imagine. I stepped outside this morning to savor the first day of fall and was immediately snared in a gigantic spider web. It wasn't merely big - it had H.G.Wells proportions.
I was forced to go inside - wash my face, arms, and chest (I had ventured outside shirtless). Then I shampooed my mustache. No lie.
When I summoned enough courage to venture out again, I brought my El Cheapo camera to capture the day for posterity. Here's a much smaller web that glistened with dampness in the morning light.
And here's my cat Bosco surveying the situation (the web is north of his head)
My back yard is on the edge of a forest and it takes awhile for the morning sun to emerge from the trees.
And as the sun was emerging, the now-half Harvest Moon was lingering in the west. This looks very similar to a daytime moon photo I took a few weeks ago.
My car can be seen in the lower right corner of this photo (below).
I have no doubt the excitement is overwhelming you.
I'll give you time to catch your breath.
If you want real excitement, you should have been here the other night. I had thrown a few dirty clothes into the washing machine over a week ago and forgot about them.
Late one night I suddenly remembered them. I lifted the lid of the washer to peek inside. The clothes were there BUT - out of the corner of my eye - one of the socks moved! Slightly.
Or was it merely my imagination?
I slammed the lid shut...and didn't really want to look again. I'd never seen clothes moving by themselves in a washer before. Hell, they couldn't be that dirty....
I armed myself with a flashlight and lifted the lid again. I poked the sock. It moved again!
I quickly removed all the clothes in the washer except the sock. Then...I cautiously lifted the sock...
and there was a tiny mouse!!
Holy Shee-it! How the hell did it get in there??
I didn't really want to know, but I surmised that it got in through the agitator mechanism.
"Agitator" - not a student protester, but rather the intricate part of a washing machine of which I know nothing about.
In a rare and merciful act of kindness, I took the mouse outside far from the house and tossed him near the cow field.
There were mouse droppings on the clothes that were in the washer. I threw them all in the trash: two socks, a pair of underwear, an old flannel shirt.
Then I thoroughly scrubbed the interior of the washing machine with bleach and other disinfectants.
Lesson learned? I'll never leave dirty clothes in a washer again. Not unless I wash them.
And where the hell are my three cats when I need them?
Here's my eldest cat Scratch this afternoon:
My critter worries aren't over. I still hear animals scampering over my roof every night. And it sure ain't Santa with his reindeer.