Spring is getting closer now here in Maine. I have seen the five foot snow banks shrink down to one and two feet and less in some areas. It really seems like it has been a long winter for some of us. I am just beginning to get outside on my deck and enjoy the warm sun on my face. Once I step off that deck though, it is all mud…..big, deep, trenches of mud! When my kids were younger it used to drive me crazy! I would constantly tell them to wipe their feet or take off their shoes! Now, I have little tiny paw prints of mud from Obie and Baby…. and for some reason they just don’t listen to me telling them to wipe, before entering. They have trained me well in many ways….they know how to get over on me. They refuse to come back inside unless they see some visible sign of a treat. They seem to have figured out the difference between a “pretend” treat and the real deal. Through snow and rain and hail and wind storms, there they stand, at the bottom of the deck stairs, with that “I’m not climbing up there for that” look in their eyes. All those treats they have learned to get from yours truly, have added up to a lot of extra pounds this winter. Especially for Obie…my Jack Russell….or as we like to call him Russell Terror, ObieWanKinobi, Obie Dyer and Oricle……..??….don’t ask…..my husband came up with that one. So….it’s now my job to leash him up and take him out in the mud, minus the treats. As soon as we get back inside, he wants to go back out, so he can come back in again with the little treat routine. I’m hip to that and he now knows it. His treat begging and pleading has rubbed off onto Baby (our cat) and she pulls the same scam….or at least tries to. She’s not quite as good at it as he is. She gives up easily or gets distracted by his incessant pleas and finds something else to do. No doubt, she has CADD…..(Cat Attention Deficit Disorder) but I have never had her on medication.:)
Soon, she will be trying to climb trees again and catch birds, and he will be out bothering our neighbors and their cats and both will be wandering around Blueberry Plains on the hunt. You know what that means don’t you? Tick patrol! Oh yes….we have spring ticks here. My brother, who lives in Nashville was teasing me about ticks, because he knows how much I hate them! I get the heebie jeebies when I see one. It just freaks me out. My brother, after sufficiently making me squirm about it says…. “Oh Debbie, down south we have Chiggers, and I think they are worse!” Well, I never heard of a Chigger before. Some of you southerners may know what this is but I had to look it up. Here is what I found…..
Chiggers Now I don’t feel so bad about the ticks! Yuck! I guess we all have an insect or two that we dislike. I am deathly afraid of lunar moths and I hate to admit it but the baby ones too. All that fluttering about in my face and hair…..I am getting nervous just writing about it. Butterflies…..are beautiful and I can almost let them come near me but I’m not quite there. My husband is the butterfly whisperer. They land on him and sit there sunning themselves…..opening their wings and closing them….just stopping by for a nice visit….it’s all very strange. Me…..they know to keep their distance and they know I like to watch them from afar. Another bug that makes my skin crawl is the giant tomato Hornworm…. I get these on my tomatoes every year. I have to pick them off with a stick and destroy them or they crawl back up the plants and eat the leaves and tomatoes until there is nothing left. They are a very gross caterpillar that turns into….guess what?….yup….a giant moth! No wonder I hate them!
So….the season of mud and bugs is upon us and I guess it is time to face my fears. Who knows….if I work hard enough at it, I may also become a whisperer…..the tick/moth/hornworm whisperer? Wish me luck.:)