At first sight my biggest dilemma to contend with in our new neighborhood is what artifacts I should adorn my front porch with. Will it be like what my neighbor’s chose? It doesn’t help narrow down the possibilities. You see between Bobbi’s antique wooden wheelbarrow filled with poinsettias and Ann’s welcoming green lawn chairs there’s still room for: six wooden working birdhouses across a veranda, covered wagons in the front drive, I counted two modes of antique wooden ladders with false foliage and fauna, and several porch swings/benches with street lamp posts! What’s a city girl supposed to do? Hang rainbow-colored hi-tech cell phones over my rot iron fence? A vote for Cameron Smythe sign isn’t even big enough!
Then, if the Martha Stewartness of all that isn’t enough guess what befalls me next? Valley fever? (Too late, the pulmonary doctor cleared me of that one.) Wildlife!
Day one Samantha notices what I believe to be a big bird waddling across our paved street. Come to find out, from the new neighbors of course, it’s a wild peacock she’s chasing after! They live in the gully (whatever) below. She had half of my new neighbors out of their houses with her wild yelps. (Samantha’s, not the poor bird’s.) It was one way to meet everybody I guess.
A few nights later I’m awakened by the unmistakable cry of a wild animal. Well, to be perfectly honest, it sounded like a baby to me the first few times I heard it. But when my neighbors enlightened me again I soon found out that we have bold coyotes here too. I confirmed it by logging onto the Internet in search of coyote sounds and there it was under “long howl”.
Okay so I have a tall fence around my property they won’t jump over, an even larger German Shepherd and Samantha knows not to approach strange dogs. I can deal with it. Just when I thought it was over I saw, what could only be, a millipede in my shower! It was just a million-legged baby one so I decided to heed Pauline Harte’s advice and leave it alone. It disappeared the next day and I’m left with nightmares of where it will appear next, at it’s full, adult, slithering, undoubtedly thicker growth. Luckily Samantha still requires adult supervision in the bath but what about her wimp of a mother?
Then I saw a really big, black, eight-legged, bug next to my spa. As it tipped it’s back end up toward me I remembered my mom identifying it’s type during one of our family hikes in Hasley Canyon. “Stink bug!” I yelled, and Eddie, firefighter-paramedic-extraordonairre came to my aid and squished it beneath his hi-top sneakers. Sorry Pauline.
Really, I love my new neighbors and house. I’m just a little timid around all this nature I’m suddenly forced to habitat with. Except for my baby owl of course. And all of the small birds. You see the previous owners had built large windows and a outdoor deck with their master bedroom. Every night I am lulled to sleep by the gentle “who, who whooo” of my little owl (Thank God I’ve never seen him or those eyes would keep me up all night.) and awakened by bird songs in the morning.
In the long mornings, when Ed has left for work at 5:30 AM and Samantha comes in to cuddle around six we listen and watch the sun try and wrestle it’s way through the thick branches of our trees.
I think this big city girl will come around but in the meantime feel free to tell me how many coyotes there are in a pack and just how bold they can be. Also, what’s your vote for my front yard? So far I’ve got my eye on Bobbi’s wheelbarrow. Do you think she’ll believe me when I tell her some bold, wild animal made off with it in the wee small hours?