1. One morning, dozily gazing out at the yard with my first cup of
coffee, I spy a teeny tiny mouse shivering on the first step of the
pool. There's a quarter inch of water on that step; it must have thought
it was going to get a drink and then was unable to climb out the
slippery straight side. We've had a few mice meet their maker in the
pool this summer, so I race out to save it, first telling Little A.
where I am going and turning her high chair so she can see me. I grab
the pool skimmer and lower it gently, gently, onto the step, and gently encourage the mouse to climb on. After a moment of panic, it clambers on board, and I lift it out of
the pool and gently carry it over to the grass, and lay the skimmer down
so the poor bugger can just walk off at will. I leave the mouse,
cleaning its paws and still shivering just a bit, and go inside to tend to the baby.
Later, I see the cat staring. Very intently. At the spot just beyond where the skimmer is resting by the grass.
And a little bit later than that, the cat starts meowing to get my attention: Meowf! Meowf! I don't look--it sounds exactly like he is meowing with his mouth full.
2. The chickens are taking some air, as they are allowed now, in the fenced-in yard of Floyd the greyhound. I am sitting on the deck, eating lunch & doing some work. Annoyingly, the chickens keep scuttling UNDER the deck, scritching and rooting and clucking. I keep stamping on the boards, up and down the deck, to chase them out into the open yard. They ignore me, unusually. And cluck even louder.
Suddenly there is blue-jay commotion in the trees above. Thief! Thief! THIEF!! they shout. The squirrel joins in, shouting and chattering. What the hells? wonders your girl on the ground. The commotion reaches a fever pitch and THEN a giant hawk bursts out of the treetops, with a poor little baby jay in its clutches. A few grown jays follow, tie-fighter style, dive-bombing and swooping with all their might. The scene recedes into the woods.
One by one, the chickens emerge from underneath the deck. The biggest blonde, with maximum attitude, looks at me and puffs her feathers: And you call US dumb, stupid human.
3. The FYD and I are taking an evening dip in the pool one sweltering summer night. It's that perfect part of summer where the bugs are almost gone and the water temperature is refreshing and it cools off just enough at night so you can sleep. The sun gets a little lower and the sky turns pink. Suddenly we can hear the night-time critters: bats chittering to each other, random rustling noises in the woods, whatever the bird is that goes HOO (it's not an owl, but damned if I know).
Oh look a bat! we say to each other, almost at the same moment. We are, generally, psyched to see any bats--they eat moths that would otherwise bumble their way into the house and die in the windowsills. THIS bat, apparently, wanted a drink from the pool. SWOOP! It came down from it's already low flight path and dipped into the pool, and flew away just as fast. We laughed at its agility.
Until the next time it SWOOPED about two feet away from the FYD. And then SWOOPED and brushed his hair with his wing.
That was it for swimming time. We bolted from the water and let the wildlife have the yard for the evening.