Thursday, September 24, 2009


Living with your garden in the middle of your house, as most do here, means living with a few more critters than most North Americans are used to. Tonight Pat and I came back to the house and found a toad sitting in the dining room. How he got here is a mystery - I can't imagine a toad climbing the roofs to get into the garden, and the drain openings seem a little small for this good sized amphibian - but here he undoubtedly was. Pat turns out to have experience in toad removal, fortunately, and trapped him under a yogurt container before decanting him onto the street.

Last night our visitor was a gray and white cat - and she, I know for sure, came and left via the roof tiles. Meanwhile, there are a good number of permanent residents. Among them, when I first moved in, were black bats - and they liked to find a quiet, dark bedroom at about 4 AM and take up residence. We found a little machine that puts out noises that are said to repel bats, and plugged it in. It's worked like a charm, but now a cricket has taken up residence next to the bat repeller - it's probably attracted to the noise, perhaps it's an interspecies romance - and chirps there all through the night.

There are always ants and bees and small bugs (including some that look exactly like green leaves with legs) and no-see-ums around, and because of them we're happy whenever we see or hear one of the family of geckos who live here and snack on them. Birds and butterflies come and go, to my delight.

And then there are the critters who are only heard: the dogs who enter into huge barking contests at night - last night they were howling, the cats who sometimes stage battles on the roofs, the cocks who start calling for sunrise at 2 AM. I'm more conscious here than I ever was in Bellevue of being part of a shared world, one among the creatures who use this tropical space.

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