For those of you who have not toured Casa de Mitchell, picture, if you will, a lush green expanse where the plants are tall and the to-do lists are even taller. A land where flowers can grow seven feet tall, where frogs can fit through holes the size of a quarter and end up on your shovel even though, really, they have no business being there, and where bunnies visit nightly to torment the resident Labrador.
The direct result of all this unruly life, however, is even more unruly life. We have wildlife all over the place and it’s getting a bit out of hand. My personal favorites are the two squirrels who enjoy re-enacting American Gladiators on our rose trellis. They balance their hind legs on the slats of the trellis and wrestle with their front paws until one of them topples. When one of them falls, he/she gets back up and they go at it again. It’s awesome but so distracting. When they’re not doing this, our resident squirrels also enjoy racing up and down our cedar trees and making irritable noises at the puppy.
Another wild friend is Buns, the brown bunny who hops through our yard every morning and evening. He’s large, soft-looking, and nobody’s fool. He enjoys rustling the leaves of our shrubs when I’m walking out in the dark yard at night and running past the puppy when Doc is on a leash, thus causing Doc substantial psychic pain because he realizes that the brief pleasure to be had from running at Buns is incalculably dwarfed by the severity of my displeasure at having my puppy yank my arm off while chasing a bunny.
We have a negligent mommy duck who hasn’t stopped by since her chicks were downy (which is just as well, because I have a lecture that’s just burning my lips off waiting for her) and also a raccoon who is fat, belligerent, and not above stealing Doc’s kibble if we leave the garage door open all night.
In addition to these warm-blooded creatures, there’s a staggering array of butterflies, moths, spiders, worms, beetles, frogs, snakes, and grubs who also enjoy the spacious grounds surrounding our house. I have been accosted personally by bright green frogs twice, have experienced the tickly perambulations of spiders on my bare arms five times, and have scooped up more slugs with the poop scoop than I care to remember.
I’m sure these creatures all lived here quite happily before we bought this place, but my more narcissistic side is inclined to believe they’re all new additions, drawn here by their fame-hungry natures, all eager for a mention in my blog.