“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.”

Today is a stay at home and be comfortable sort of day. It’s cold and, surprise, surprise, it’s cloudy. The errands got finished yesterday and the bird feeders were filled. I added cayenne pepper to the seeds in the big one, the one the red spawn loves. This morning he was at a smaller feeder, the one with a cage around it. I ran out and he was stuck for just a bit in the cage. He panicked and was gone in a heartbeat. Maybe that cage will keep him away.

Speaking of rodents, there have been no more mice in the trap. I’m still at two in the trap and one in the washing machine.

I don’t remember seeing critters when I was a kid. I remember bugs the most. My favorites were the grasshoppers. In the field, every step I took disturbed a grasshopper who leapt into the air then landed back down into the tall grass. Sometimes I’d run through the field just to watch the grasshoppers leap one after the other almost like a choreographed show. At the swamp we watched the tadpoles morph into frogs. We’d lie at the edge of the swamp on our stomachs and watch the tadpoles dart through the water. Their dark bodies were easy to see and follow. Sometimes I’d poke a finger into the water just to watch all of the tadpoles scatter. Mostly I remember their tails and how those tails disappeared over time through the spring into the summer. My favorite part of the cycle was when they still had tails but looked like frogs in their upper bodies. They could have been from a black and white 50’s science fiction movie when giant bugs and oversized creatures destroyed cities and ate people. My favorite bug of all was the praying mantis. It was neat looking with those forelegs which always reminded me of a fighter ready to box. I watched one for a long time once from the front steps to the garden. It hid in the plants and caught and ate a moth. I was delighted.

Once in a while, while we were riding in the car, we’d see a deer in a field near the side of the road. The first one to see it would always yell deer and point so we wouldn’t miss it. We had Weiss Dairy Farm in our town, and I loved going by it to see the cows in the field or in the corrals. I don’t remember ever seeing a skunk or a possum amble through the yard. I never even noticed they were missing.

Around here I have seen wild turkeys, coyotes, deer, foxes, possums and raccoons. The pond at the end of the street has spring peepers. I can already hear their calls. I wonder if there are tadpoles yet.

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20 Comments on ““As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    We’ve had so similar childhoods in so many ways 🙂 But we did see critters and lots of them since we had two huge parks just nearby, they were more like big forests in the middle of teh city. So moose and deers was common, hares too but I rarely saw any fox. Lots of rats too since I lived in a poor part of town.

    Sunny and warm here but I haven’t enjoyed it at all, I got a stomacvh flu last night and I still feel very wobbly in my stomach and I have lots of fever too. Tomorrow will be colder and I think that will help, it’s never a good thing to get a stomach flu in summer.

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      I never saw a rat until I was an adult though the grass cutters I ate in Ghana did remind me of giant rats. I was sitting a a well known bakery having a pastry and coffee when a rat ran across the floor. The guy behind the counter offered me free coffee all day long.

      I just saw on last night’s news that the flu has made a come-back here as well. The lucky part is the flu shot I had protects against that strain of flu.

      Feel better!!

  2. Hedley Says:

    Its cold, its rainy, but finally the signal that Summer approaches went off like a tornado siren. Big Rick has called. Mrs Big Rick has bought him a new Trek and announced that he needs to start riding with me. How Big are you I ask — not telling but it is a new world and intergalactic record.

    And so, weather permitting, Big Rick and I will once again begin our slow paced lap of the lake at Stoney Creek Metro Park. Got lots to tell you, says Big Rick, a whole hibernation period of making millions thinks I.

    I am trying to dodge work this afternoon to enjoy Bayern Munich against Real Madrid in the Champions League semi final – could be a crackerjack game. (I know you are watching Birgit)

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      Your rain will start here on Wednesday night and go through to Thursday night. It will be in the 40’s most of the week until Friday which should get into the 50’s.

      It is really cold right now.

      I was wondering when Big Rick was going to surface. Nice for him to start riding with a new bike!

      I’m hoping you were successful in dodging work and am now getting ready for the big game!

    • Birgit Says:

      Hedley, of course I will watch! Even if Dortmund isn’t involved since Madrid kicked them out in the quarter finals. Let’s hope we’ll see a great game.

      • Hedley Says:

        It would have been much more fun if Borussia Dortmund was in the semi finals again. Of course Gareth Bale plays for Real Madrid and I cannot pull for Bayern Munich anyway
        Wish that I had smuggled some beer in to the office

  3. Birgit Says:

    I had to look up spring peepers and was surprised when I listened to the corresponding sound file of these American-only frogs. They sound like birds to me. Our common frogs have a darker voice:
    [audio src="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:XN_Hyla_arborea_00.ogg" /]
    In university my favorite place to read was a bench at the frog pond in the botanical garden. Sometimes it was quite noisy in spring.

  4. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    We had the same childhood animals! I also had muskrats, skunks, raccoons and one big barn owl.
    I never saw a deer in the wild until I went to live on the farm in Maine. There we had lynx and bear as well as rattlesnakes behind the big house.

    The peepers were out here last week. They’ve been kind of quiet in the cold evenings we’ve had lately.
    And there have been some baby spawns playing in the grass.

    It’s cold, damp and it’s been spitting rain most of the day up here. Rocky and I have been out a couple of times but it’s not pleasant. I’m hoping this foretells a coolish summer especially since I gave away my AC unit and haven’t replaced it yet. 🙂

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I don’t think I have ever seen a muskrat in real life, and I know I haven’t seen a bear-gorillas yes but not a bear.

      I’ll listen tonight to see if they’ve gone to ground, in the mud, again as protection from the cold.

      I agree about how unpleasant it is outside. Even Gracie doesn’t spend a whole lot of time in the yard. I remember a few years ago when it was so cold on July 4th we had a fire going outside and were wearing sweatshirts.

      Have a great evening!

      • Caryn Says:

        I remember one 4th of July when the temps here hadn’t gotten much above 50F for several days. At that point I gave up and turned on the heat. My mother was in Monteray CA where it hadn’t gotten below 90F. Usually it’s in the 60’s. It was like the coasts had switched. 🙂

      • katry Says:

        Without the fire, we could not have sat outside in the cold. That was the year of no summer!

  5. Coleen Burnett Says:

    My girlfriend, who loves all manner of animals, once had a pet rat…I kid you not. She kept it in a big aquarium filled with shavings and straw, and IIRC she had it immunized for rabies like most other animals I touched its tail once…you can bet that was as far as I got.

    There is a farm near here that raises alpacas and llamas. Every time I drive by and see them, I yell out “Ramalama-ding-dong.”

    Why no, I’m not currently on any medicine…why do you ask? 🙂

    Cold and rainy here…what the blazes happened to spring?

    Have a great day!


    • katry Says:

      Hi Coleen,
      I find a pet rat disgusting. They scurry in alleyways and sewers and rummage through trash.

      Alpacas and llamas are sort of cute with their long necks. The babies have the softest fur. Do they turn and look?

      Spring has been kidnapped by aliens (I thought I’d continue the need for medication thread).

      Rainy tomorrow but will, supposedly, be in the 60’s. The cape has yet to break 60 so far this season.

      Have a wonderful evening!

  6. Jay Bird Says:

    I saw a healthy, full-grown wolf cross the road while driving through the Adirondack’s in northern NY, circa 1997. Locals poo-pooh’ed the story. Next summer the papers read: “Wolves return to the Adirondacks”. Reassuring that we have not totally screwed up the wilderness.

    • katry Says:

      Jay Bird,
      I am amazed at how adaptable animals are. Coyotes appeared years back, and now they are common. A bear made it all the way to the mid-cape from the western part of the state. He was caught and returned to the Berkshires, but he was a determined bear to come all that way.

      I read that there are birds living in Chernobyl and they are surviving.

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