Rain, lightning, and thunder…. This, after a 118-degree day!
Even for Arizona, that is weird.
The sky alternated between sprinkling and pouring all morning. Seriously: I’ve never seen weather like this here. Upwards of 118 for a whole day; then the next morning we wake up to overcast skies, then rain by about 9 a.m. Temps in the upper 70s. And now? It’s pouring.
It hasn’t rained like this in a good year, maybe more.
That nothwithstanding, Gerardo’s crew shoveled out most of the debris, and Gerardo himself reprogrammed the watering system, in hopes of cutting the bill below $275. That remains to be seen, o’course, but at least we made a swipe at it.
So while they’re outdoors banging around, I’m sitting in the house and cripes!
Something falls down the chimney!
Rattie? Another bird? It quit scrabbling around, so I suspect it is Rattie, who can climb up the brickwork with her agile little paws. Bird could be too terrorized, though to keep kickin’, though. Ohhhh moan! Just ONE moment of peace, pleeeze!}
So now, with 118 degrees on the way, all the windows & doors are open, the flu open, the fireplace screen open….ohhhh gawd. That’s going to jack up the AC bill into the stratosphere.
This reminds me, by the light of dawn, that I’ve got to call the city and demand an explanation for the $275 water bill. They, of course, will give me a runaround. I asked Gerardo to check the irrigation system, but rather little seems to have come of that. He thinks the problem is that we have the system set to come on too often. Could be…except we haven’t changed it in several years, and I’ve never been presented with a TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-FIVE-DOLLAR water bill.
The irrigation system IS pricey, but it’s probably better than turning on a sprinkler and then wandering off and forgetting it. The main reason mine is so high is that I have a lot of potted plants. These, in the summertime, have to be watered EVERY day: and that’s non-negotiable. Forget once — just once — and any plant in a pot is stone dead.
No sound from the chimney critter. Godlmighty, it’s too hot to have doors hanging open!
Hmmmm…. I figure if a bird had gotten caught in the flu when I opened it to try to get her out, she’d be flapping around. Hmmmm… What to do, what to do? Think I’ll close the doors back up, since she doesn’t seem inclined to avail her self. If she comes out, then I’ll open the place back up. It is just TOOOOO hot for this bidness.
The fires, speaking of the (soon to be former) wildlife, continue to rage across the state. One of them is closing in on a pretty cabin built by my now late friends, Jean and Jerry. The house, which they built shortly before Jerry retired, overlooks a meadow but backs right onto the forest. I remember their remarking that if there was ever a fire, it would be the end of that place.
They’re both gone now. I assume the kids inherited it, and surely at least one of their twin boys must be living there.
Gerardo’s crew showed up at the Funny Farm shortly after Pool Dude left.
Good thing I flang myself in the drink and did the water exercises for the arm as soon as I rolled out of the sack this morning!
But yeah: get the pool all cleaned up, and here’s our boys blowering dirt and palm-tree blossoms all around. 😀
§ § §
Finally got a call back from the Contrapest folks — this is the outfit marketing birth control drugs as rat control. As feared, what they really want to do is sell you a regular service, for some spectacular fee.
Not so much, fellas…
Here we find, at Wildlife Research (a scientific journal), the following utterance: “The challenge for effective fertility control of small rodents in the field is the wide-scale delivery of an antifertility treatment to founders at the beginning of the breeding season and to fertile immigrants that are recruited into the population, which otherwise contribute to the reproductive output at the population level. Future research efforts should focus on species-specific techniques and on agents that can be effectively delivered via bait.”
Uh huh. This appears to mean “You have toi put a whole bunch of the contraceptive product out, and you have to put it out at the beginning of the animals’ breeding season and keep it out throughout the season.” Okayyyy… A roof rat’s lifespan is about a year (during which time she can easily spawn 40 pups…). So presumably you’d have to keep putting this stuff out for…how long? Looks suspiciously like “forever” to me.
Y’know what I think?
Yeah. I think there’s a better way, and that better way is spelled M-A-N-X C-A-T.
Now to get said cat. Train it not to wipe a corgi off the face of the planet (and train the corgi not to try to eat the cat). And set it up in luxurious digs in the backyard. Hmmm… Apparently the critters can be trained to coexist with your dog. Alas, however, a certain dawg has been trained to chase off cats. Hm. I’d have to figure out how to get the dog acclimated to the cat, and vice versa.
Another variety that’s apparently Hell on Rats is the Savannah cat. It’s a half-wild breed, though…and illegal to own in some parts.
§ § §
Eventually it develops that our critter in the chimney is (mercifully!) NOT a rat, but a little dove. A terrorized little bird.
FINALLY get her out by turning off the air-conditioning (that was nice, in 118-degree heat), opening all the doors (no windows in that part of the house), opening up the fireplace screen, and laying low. It takes her awhile, but eventually the solution dawns on her little bird brain, and she makes her way to the back door, where she hunkers down on the stoop. There I set a jar lid with some water in it (in fact, birds don’t drink a lot of water: they get most of their H2O needs in the food they ingest), scatter a handful of seed across the back patio, and got the Hell out of her way. And it works: eventually she recovered enough to return to her backyard haunt.
Poor li’l bird!
§ § §
Yes, I do need to get a screen thing up there on the top of the chimney. Asked Gerardo if he would put one up there. He agreed, but reluctantly. I think today I’ll call and see if I can find a chimney guy to install one.
Pool Dude shoots in and out. The chlorine shortage is causing quite a problem for folks who are in the pool maintenance bidness. A lot of stores just don’t have it, and those that do are charging piratical rates. Not surprisingly…but still…
Part of Pool Dude’s problem is that he’s too damn nice. Case in point: He’s got some broad who owes him SIX HUNDRED BUCKS (!!!!). Has he raised Hell and put a block under it? Ohhhhh noooo…. Holy sh!t.
A$k, and ye shall re¢eive.