Monday, May 23, 2011

Tom & Jerry Scare the Bald Lady

Garden Shed

Oh what a spring.  Which until this past weekend just really seemed like a rainy extension of winter.  Most of April and May were filled with endless chilly, dark, rainy days, giving the weeds way too much of a head start on this gardener.  This weekend we skipped spring, and went straight to summer heat and humidity.  Remember last year when we were crabbing about having to turn on the A/C in April? 

One of the annual rites of spring is cleaning out the garden shed.  As the patio furniture, watering cans, hoses, shepherd's hooks, and garden decor disgorge from what is usually a haphazard fall stuffing, a bucket or two usually reveals the unlucky bodies of a mouse or two who fell in, but couldn't manage to escape.  And every once in awhile, I pull out something containing a live nest.

Baby White Footed Mouse
Yesterday was one of those days.  I heard the tell-tale signs of life when I took a big stack of flower pots from the shelf.  Mama made the nest pretty far down in the stack; I don't think they would have made an escape.  Even though I knew it was coming, it was still like taking the lid off the popcorn popper when I removed the layer of pots containing the nest - at least 8 baby mice, and mama, went running in opposite directions. 

Tiny, baby mouse

I'm sure it was plenty funny watching the bald lady shriek a bit and do a little dance.  A few didn't look so good, and I moved them behind the compost pile.  Later, when I came back, I was surprised to see mama, who was larger, and a couple of babies still hanging out, barely bothered by my presence. 

It seemed extra silly to be frightened by a bunch of tiny mice about an hour later when I surprised a large dog I'd never seen before, who fortunately barked at me for a few minutes then left. 

Another rainy week is predicted.  Let's hope it moderates enough so the farmers can finally get some crops planted.

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