There’s a bit of a Louisiana swamp feeling to our present drill site. The guys on the crew that are from Louisiana say it feels like home. It apparently feels like home to just about everything that lives in southern Texas.
It’s really quite pretty, thick with mesquite (of course) and live oaks draped in moss.
I saw my first kangaroo rat today, which I understand are partial to mesquite. I was talking to a local at the time so I’m confident in the identification. For my fellow Yankees who may never have seen one, they look, as you might expect, like a fast furry hopping rat.
It’s been a jumpy day. I saw a very quick snake, heading for the feral pig hang out to the East and my first armadillo family of four. Sadly, the armadillos crossed in front of the gate after it was too dark for a picture.
The night noises have escalated. The bulls seem to be particularly riled up and the lady cows have been mooing mournfully since dusk.
The guys told me today that the hog they’re grilling tonight they actually caught about 10 yards from my window (on the back, dark side of the RV).
I think it’s revenge of the herd tonight because there’s an excessive amount of squealing and screaming.
I mentioned a while back that there was a raccoon sitting on my steps one night (the same one that was doing the balancing act on the barbed-wire fence). For some reason, Henry slept through the first visit.
I doubt if he’ll get a wink of sleep tonight. If it had come from any dog but Henry, I would have been temped to ignore his low guttural growl, given the cacophony outside. But since Henry is so quiet that he’s nearly mute I thought I’d better check it out.
I couldn’t see anything moving but Henry stayed on high alert. I took a couple of steps out onto the fake grass rug, flashlight and garden hoe in hand. Coming from Iowa, carrying that hoe around always makes me feel so American Gothic.
Almost instantly, I saw the offender. The step-sitting raccoon had returned with a couple of cousins. As before, I grabbed my little point and shoot and scattered them with a flash.
Satisfied that I’d protected the homestead, I gave Henry a Greenie (isn’t it funny that the treat that cleans dog’s teeth is green?) and sat down to read Bad Love by Jonathan Kellerman about a child psychologist and a stalker.
I’ve been reading Kellerman for light reading because he was a child psychologist before he started writing novels and I like the psychological aspect he adds to his work.
However, I’m re-thinking my choice of late night fiction. I’d only turned a few pages when Henry tumbled down the steps, knocking open the screen door.
I yelled! He yipped! Then he scrambled back in. Since I didn’t see the footfall, I’m just guessing he tripped on the rug that was a little bunched-up?
He made enough racket to scare away whatever had scared him. Who says Schoodles can’t be watch dogs!
I held him until his heart stopped racing and put him in his bed which is up on the sofa at night beside my chair.
There’s a window right over his bed which was open to let in the little bit of breeze that was stirring. I had read maybe 2 chapters (they’re short) when something slammed against the window screen and Henry tumbled to the floor, again.
I looked up just in time to see the raccoon, clinging momentarily to the outside of the screen, looking in at the spot that used to be Henry.
The raccoon lost his grip about the same time I lost mine.
It was pretty warm today, 93 degrees and it’s still 81. I decided it was time to close the windows, pull the shades and turn on the air.
I don’t know if the air conditioner is supposed to hum or not, but tonight I’m glad it does. Whatever is out there screeching or snorting or prowling about, Henry and I can no longer hear or smell or see it.
Do you remember the picture of Jodi Foster in Silence of the Lambs with a butterfly over her mouth? Creepy.
I just picked up my coffee and drank a fluttering moth. Guess it’s going to be that kind of night…
It seems fitting to close with this traditional Scottish prayer:
From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!