Saturday, June 2, 2012


We've had quite an onslaught of wilderness lately, both big and small. In many ways I love the rural nature of where we live. The heron, ducks and loons on the lake; the wild turkeys strutting down our street like it was their's; the loud insistent SCREE! of a nearby hawk. But I definitely like my wilderness to stay outside.

The recent march of carpenter ants throughout the house is nasty and disconcerting. These are those big black ants you usually see out in the woods on a camping trip. All my neighbors are complaining about them too, so its not just me. Mostly they are just a temporary creepy inconvenience. They come inside in the spring, foraging. We should have sprayed our foundation with boric acid earlier this year, but we didn't know. Now we do. As long as they don't decide to build a nest inside the walls of our house and destroy it in the process....

We have had reports of 'bear activity' within a couple of miles of our house. At first this news really scared me, but I have been reading about our local black bears and now I feel better. They are actually quite shy, and as long as you remove their food sources, you shouldn't have any problems. We are supposed to make sure our garbage is secured (ours stays in the garage except on trash day), and take down our bird feeders until the fall. But if a bear wanted to come and eat my strawberries, or the rapidly ripening blueberries along the stone wall, well there isn't anything I could do about that.

I have mixed feelings about the bears. As long as Harper and I were safely inside, it would be pretty cool to see one. After all, the last time a person was killed by a bear in New Hampshire was in 1783!

Then there was the news report a couple of months ago about the coyote that snatched a dachshund in broad daylight from the yard of its home in an nearby town. That story renewed my vigilance with Harper. She is a feisty confident little dog, but I don't think she would be any match for a coyote and I sure don't want to find out! So in the early morning we go outside together, and in the evening I keep her on a leash. And in between I watch her carefully when she goes outside to chase the squirrels out of the yard.

I have purchased some pepper spray to bring along when we go for walks, and to carry on my early morning runs. I haven't actually worked up the nerve yet to bring it along, however. It's sitting on the nightstand next to my bed. It's not going to do much good there unless a bear comes into my bedroom! I need to have a talk with myself about self defense, I guess. Maybe writing about it here will do the trick.

Then there is the anonymous creature that is eating selected flowers along the front walkway. I don't think it's deer; I've only seen two deer since we moved here, and they were off in the wetlands. I think they can smell Harper and it scares them off. But something is enjoying my black-eyed susan's WAY too much. It's a shame too. They would have made a lovely late summer flower addition to that bed.

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