Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rural life and the small foot print

It's no wonder more people don't revel in a bush bound life. We have two neighbours and they live a 2.5km apart. We live with resident black bears and when the summer heat comes we see a lot of bugs.

In the early spring it often looks like we will be carried away by mosquitoes when the heat comes, but fortunately for everyone here that rarely happens. We live on very sandy soil with large gravel deposits strewn around the area for good measure. Drainage is usually fairly good so the mozzies don't have the best kick at getting too carried away. This spring was scary, with thick mats of larva in all the standing water, but a little heat and wind and the larva and late tadpoles just ran out of places to become more themselves.

A little dry land never stops the hatch though. As sure as the swallows will dance past my nose as I come in and out of the barn, they will have something to eat here if it's hot.

The fire flies began to hatch about ten days ago and tonight they fill the night air with their magic. We are surrounded by forest, but the yard is open to the east and south for about 300 meters and about 75 meters out to the barn. That leaves a lot of area to observe the little lights of summer flashing on and off randomly. It's a bit like watching a fire for me in that I take a long time to tire of the entertainment. I look forward to the fire flies every year and gratefully put up with the other less attractive hatchlings.

Yesterday there were a few longish beatles that had quite a robotic stuttering walk as they made their way around the computer. Today I tossed a classic looking pitch black 2cm beatle out of the bottom of the laundry basket. As I sit here there are several bugs the kids always called "crunch beatles" roaming the ceiling. A hatch of very small "no seeum" type things are congregating like live dust above the lamp. The outside window pane is a wash in variety with moths and other winged insects.

It's sometimes less than pleasant to live where humans don't dominate, but for me it beats the smell of the city every time.

People often comment to me that they believe it's quiet where they live. I always want to tell them that if it doesn't roar back in your ears like a conch shell will if you listen, it's not as quiet as it can be.

The coyotes were dancing behind the barn the other night and Tommy dog took them on. When he first came, he was very timid. Now he's the bravest dog we've had. I like what my current dogs are mirroring back to me. I listened to him chase them to the river and wondered whether he knew how vulnerable he was against a pack like that, but maybe it's me that's ignorant of the facts. He looks so beaten up now with one cloudy eye, but he's sure gotten his fire back in spades if he's chasing packs of coyotes. I'm very happy to still have him around. Heck. I'm happy I'm still around.

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