It's that time of year again. Leaves are turning brilliant colors, delighting the eye for a few days before saying "ah, what's the point?" and dropping off. Every warm day we have left is a precious gift, a reminder that Temps Fugit.
It is also Invasion Season.
I won't go on about the lady bugs, but they do get worse every year.
No, the main challange to the defense perimeter at Trowelsworthy Hall are the rodents.
Especially chipmunks. They have been particularly insolent this year. Not a single tomato escaped their depredations. So bold have they become that a man sitting on his front porch reasonably expecting to enjoy his pint in undisturbed peace finds them dashing about mere inches away on their antic missions.
And now, now when they sense the approach of icy winter in the rat like core of their beings, they want to come inside and mooch enough BTUs to make it through to spring.
You have to keep all the doors closed or they will just dash on in.
The other day I had the garage door open as I did a minor task. I had picked up an electric lawnmower off the Free Pile on the neighbor's curb. It had a few parts that may come in handy for future projects but the machine proper was a big old slab of plastic. Of the non recycleable sort too if you find irony in that. Most electric lawn mowers tout their virtues as EcoFriendly.
So I am on the driveway sawing this to bits with a menacing Sawzall. I have on my safety glasses (bifocal version) and my hearing protection because this tool is noisy. Also dangerous so I was paying very close attention as the lawnmower was reduced to sawed up bits of Gaia Insulting, EcoUnfriendly parts.
Stepping back I raised my gaze and saw....a chipmunk. He was by my feet perhaps 18 inches away.
Both of us were clearly calculating the odds.
Me: "Shall I power on the saw and give him a good scare?"
Chip: "...ee's bluffin'. I know 'e is. If'n I just lunge at his ankle 'e will be distracted long enough for me to get past 'im. Birdseed....I can smell it in there! 'owsa 'bout a nice warm corner to hibernate in 'til Spring? I can take 'im...I knows it!"
Our eyes locked. I raised the Sawzall suggestively. His little snout wrinkled in disdain but he twitched his tail and ran off. For the moment anyway.