Wednesday, August 26, 2009
There's the Door, What's Your Hurry?
I saw an article in a magazine the other day titled, “Bringing Nature Indoors.” I don’t have to bring it in; it walks in on its own. Or flies in. Or crawls in. And it doesn’t wait to be invited. Every corner harbors a spider, and, if the spider is lucky, an insect of some sort, destined to be dinner. There are ants climbing the walls and scurrying across the floor. Ladybugs inch their way across the table or fly dizzily about, landing in my hair or on my plate. There are gnats and bugs of all sorts either just passing through or setting up housekeeping. I don’t bother putting the vacuum cleaner away anymore. I want to be able to grab it quick and suck up whatever bug happens to be frightening me at the moment.
I’m not exactly frightened – more like grossed out. I don’t mind ants outside in the grass, but it gives me the willies to have several of them making a beeline in my direction along the bathroom floor while I stand barefoot making my morning ablutions. I have sprayed all the baseboards along the kitchen and bathroom walls with non-toxic ant repellent, and have set out ant traps. My hope is that word will spread amongst the ant kingdom that the lady of the house is not to be trifled with.
Spiders of every shape and size are making webs as fast as I can sweep them down. There are spindly-legged, pale brown ones; furry-legged, bulgy ones; teeny, tiny black ones; scuttling, chubby, round ones; creepy-crawly, fuzzy ones. They drop from the ceiling, inch across the floor, huddle behind the radiators, string filaments across the windowpanes, scale the sides of the sink, and lie in wait over the door. I no sooner dispatch one than ten line up behind me, waving their legs and plotting revenge.
Even though the open windows all have screens, every evening there is an onslaught of those pesky little midges that fit handily though the wire mesh. They cluster in hordes above the lamps and fuss about my face as I work at the computer. Moths bump and butt against the screens and when I come in at night, they flutter in ahead of me to commit suicide on the light bulbs. Mosquitoes line up at the door, fighting for the chance to whine in my ears the moment I drift off to sleep.
Parker, the cat, keeps the mice at bay, and there have been no bears in my backyard to date. There are bunnies aplenty but they keep a safe distance from the door, and though I made eye-to-eye contact with a possum waddling up the bank behind the cottage the other afternoon, it made no request to move in. The larger wildlings know their place. It’s the little guys – the bugs – that are bugging me.
Ah, life in the country. Nature indoors? Thanks, but I prefer mine outside.