Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Living WITH Wildlife!

Since living on level ground surrounded by a tall white, impenetrable wall, I have felt cosseted from the many creatures of nature who used to traverse through the lush grounds of the house on the hill.

As far as I can remember during those eighteen years, the variety of creatures included coyotes, a black and white skunk, coatamundis, possums and their babies,  feral cats, birds of a feather, cutter ants, scorpions.  Well, you get the drift.  It was a feast of wildlife.  Some of which was NOT welcome.

In fact the only way I could get rid of the coatamundis coming down the fireplace was to cut the limb off the big lush china berry tree.  Voila, no more noises in the night.  The only way to deal with the cutter ants was poison, much to my distress.  It never worked anyway as they made mounds on the street that were, in some instances, half a foot high! 

Fast forward to the calming influence of this house.  Secure, airtight, and not a bug in sight.  Only the angry bird, which I have written about previously.  Nope, no scorpions even.......What a gift after living here now for eight months to not see a bug in the house!Not even a fly or mosquito........

                                                     The flamboyant tree in bloom now.

 That all changed last week!  In the middle of the night, I headed to the bathroom at about midnight.
As I walked in, there on the wall, was the biggest roach I've seen in at least twenty years.  Yup, I've
never seen a roach in Mexico, anywhere.  Geez, and there it was ON THE WALL.  My first thought was, "Does it fly?"  Some in Texas and Louisiana do and if that thing had flown at me, I would have been screaming at the top of my lungs.  I quickly left the bathroom and slammed the door. I also checked to see if it could get out under the door.  Made a beeline for my bedroom and closed both doors there. 

Of course, I had to lay there and try to figure out, (a) how did it get in? (b) would it come in the bedroom, and (c) if it was still there in the morning, then what was I going to do.  Needless to say, I do not like cockroaches and have inordinate fear of those that fly.  Cockroaches and scorpions go together on my fear list.  

So, what did I do? I sent a What's App message to my son at midnight telling him I might need his help in the morning.........well, sometimes one does not use common sense, ha.

Yes, in the morning, it was still there, but not on the wall, but on the tile floor in the shower stall.  Oy vey.  They move so fast, I was afraid I would not be able to get to it fast enough.  Long story short, by the time my son came, we could not find it!  That posed another conundrum.  WHERE is it?

I had put the rubber cover over the drain in the shower just in case that was how it got in...only place that I could think of that had access to the outside............

THEN, a few days later, I passed another one headed TO the bathroom on the floor.  I could hardly believe my eyes.  It was daylight though and I was relatively calm.  I got the Raid and took care of that guy, immediately.  Still not knowing where the other one was...........FOUND it the next day when I moved the shower bench and it was in the "dying cockroach" position.  Whew, another crisis averted!

Of course, now there was the question, "If the drain in the shower is covered, and there is a trap on the bathroom sink, how the heck did the second cockroach get in?"  It dawned on me, belatedly, that the kitchen sink could be another source.  So, now, there is a cover on that drain as well.

As if this fiasco wasn't enough.............as I was sitting at midnight the other night waiting for cool air to come so I could go to bed and sleep (this is our hot time of the year), a giant possum walked right passed the front doors!  The porch lights were on so I could see it mosey by slowly.  I think it was a possum because it had a very long hairless tail.  It walked by and then came back by going the other way.  Now I know what has been digging in the flower pots all this time!.  But, this begs the question, how is this possum getting in since there are no holes to fit through and there is an electrical fence on
top of the wall.......................

The only wildlife that I had seen for all this time has been the various birds enjoying the bird bath.

Things have changed though and look what is nesting across the street in the big eucalyptus trees.

Egrets or herons.  They are the same, I have read.  These nested here last year to have a bazillion babies and will be nesting til September when they leave.   What has amazed me is there size in
comparison to the birds that flit around in the garden.  Not only are they huge, when they light on those delicate branches (in this photo this one is in a pine tree), they must not weigh much as they land on the tips of the branches and the branches don't seem to drop much from their weight. 

The sounds the egret/herons make sounds like a cross between a turkey and a duck!  Strange.  So
far they only seem to make that noise at about 6:30AM!  Time will tell how this will all play out.
As they fly, they don't come over this yard. Something else I think is strange.  They have not attempted to land in the  giant Norfolk pine or the blooming Flamboyant tree. 

If you think I am bored being at home and have nothing to do, I guess this post will assuage your concerns.

I  get up every day waiting to see what else is going to happen  among the "wildlife" that surrounds me.  It is interesting, usually, and fun, most of the time.

Stay tuned.


norm said...

We have a red colored racoon visiting our house, everyday about 7 PM. I think he/she is feeding on song bird eggs. The birds have a real ruckus when old red walks by.

Michael Dickson said...

You big ole sissy. How could anyone have lived on the Gulf Coast for years and not be accustomed to cockroaches all over the place? And how could you put cockroaches and scorpions in the same category? Roaches don't do squat. They surely do not sting. It's said, however, that for every roach you see, there are about 100 you don't see nearby.

In Pátzcuaro, I've never seen a scorpion or a cockroach. Not one.

R. P. said...

Lo Mismo.

We have been visited by a roach and found a couple dead brown scorpions. Dead is the key word here.

Only, a few short months ago, we were looking out our window at 3 brown bears and warned of a cougar roaming the hood in Ashland. As Gilda Radner opined "it's always something".

"I am a rebel, I miss the days of peace and quiet". Did I actually write that and then move to Mexico? LOL


Glenn Wilson said...

We've read your blog for years; before we moved here. I think this is my first time commenting.

Our home in San Miguel de Allende is virtually mostly critter free, especially compared to where we used to live in Houston, Texas. There we had possums, and egrets and herons and a lot more. We have not seen any of those here.

I quoted / linked this post at: https://www.smafaq.com/blog

Babs said...

Norm is it dark by 7PM where you live? I bet a "red" raccoon would cause a ruckus.

My raccoon story is that I didn't have my contact lense in one night about 30 years ago and saw something come out of the fireplace when I lived near NASA on Galveston Bay. It jumped up on the builtin bookshelves when it saw me. I thought it was a cat! I put my contact lense in and was shocked, to put it mildly. Where I lived we had our own police dept so I called and told them they needed to send someone over to get this thing out of the house. The reply was, "Is this an emergency?" from the lady who answered the phone. I said "Lady, if it jumps on me it will be...". So they sent a guy who was terrified to come in the house and told me to get a broom and open all the windows, while he stood outside! Then it was a tossup of who was more scared, the raccoon or the police man. Wildly flailing the broom, the raccoon went out the wall of windows and through the backyard to the woods. I bet it did not stop for 20 miles! Later when closing all the windows, I noticed little dusty footprints at the bottom of some of the windows. Glad that is my ONLY raccoon story!

Babs said...

Felipe, I was shocked to see a comment from you. I had no idea that you still read the blog.
Well, I had an exterminator when I lived in Nassau Bay and never had roaches in that house.
I'm not afraid of snakes, spiders or other things but as you now know I am of flying roaches and scorpions, because they are so creepy and show up in unexpected places plus stinging like hell when they do zap you.
However, once, I was helping my oldest daughter move to an apartment on Sage Rd. We were putting things away and she opened the closet door and THREE flying cockroaches came zooming out at us. I swear, you would double over laughing, if you could have heard our blood curdling screams. (It is funny to me NOW, too). We fled out the door, leaving it open and one of us went for Raid. Glad you have no roaches or scorpions. I've always agreed that you live in Paradise....

Babs said...

Roberto, DEAD is the operative word.

I don't remember where I was, up in the Northwest, when on the loudspeaker in the restaurant, they gave a "Cougar Alert". I laughed so hard my soda drink was spraying everywhere. Yes, at the time, I was thinking I was a "cougar".

I frequently think of Gilda Radner and totally agree, "It is ALWAYS something!"

Babs said...

Hi Glenn! Welcome to SMA! Great to hear from a fellow Houstonian.

I hope you are enjoying your time here and the things that you have read
in the blog have been confirmed in a positive way.

Where did you live in Houston and what part of SMA do you live in now?
Would be great for us to connect at some point. I have thoroughly enjoyed
meeting each and every blog reader, whether they ended up moving here or not!

Thanks so much for commenting!

Glenn Wilson said...

Hi Babs! Our old house in Houston was near Hwy 6 and Memorial on Terry Hershey Park / Buffalo Bayou. We sold it before Hurricane Harvey, but after Hurricane Harvey it sat in 5 feet of water for two weeks. The new owner has rebuilt.

We are now in "upper" San Rafael. Near Tacos Don Felix. We have been here...it will be two years in August.

We started reading your blog in 2016 as we started thinking about moving here. Your blog gave us the feeling of knowing what daily living in San Miguel de Allende would be like. Thanks, and we are glad you decided to keep blogging!

Babs said...

Glenn, wow, lucky you had sold your house before Harvey. My daughter and son in law and their family have left Houston. Harvey was the last straw. They lived in Kingwood, which just had another flood!

I had a similar experience in 1978 shortly after my husband died. I sold our house in Friendswood and six weeks later there was a hurricane and the house had five feet of water in it. It had never even had water in the yard previously. The new owners had not taken flood insurance. It was truly sad. However I was grateful that the children and I had not gone through that trauma as we had moved to Nassau Bay.

I have many friends who live up in the area where you are now. If ya'll ever want
to get together, my email address is babsofsanmiguel@yahoo.com. So glad you are here and happy.

I checked out your website!. Good job. Would you like for me to add it to my blogroll?


alcuban said...

I think you should fire bomb your house with DDT, but not before you sell the rights for a movie called either "The Bugs," or "Mutant Cockroaches Ate My Home."

Seriously now, here at the ranch we have a revolving Mardi Gras of insects practically year-round; they appear and disappear as if they were following a schedule. The flies are leaving now and being replaced by paper wasps, and big flies, like horseflies. We've never seen the cockroaches, certainly not big ones, or scorpions. Or possums, though we have tons of rabbits, and frogs, and an occasional snake. Very few mosquitoes too.

I think what's attracting those giant cockroaches to your place are those dozens of boxes of tapioca pudding you're stashing somewhere.

alcuban said...

Oh, I forgot. Last night we had a skunk too. Al

Unknown said...

Hey Babs
After almost 3 years in Frailes we get the cucaraches and moscas on schedule this time of year. Hate to do it but a quick blast of RAID down all the drains (except kitchen sink) every few days keeps them at bay. They are big but not very many compared to Florida, Memphis or the Gulf Coast. I think the Possums climb the Jaccaranda and Mesquite trees around our place and drop into the back patio. Haven't seen one in a year or two though. I think the opossum hotline spread the news about our Tennessee hounds guarding the jardin.
By the way...I've got two nice purple hull plants coming up. Growing them for seed this year so hopefully I can get you some seeds in a couple of months if you want to try growing some of your own.

Babs said...

Al, you are SO wise! It IS the hidden tapioca pudding and the blueberry muffin mix! Watch out for the skunks.
My son John met up with one in San Francisco on his first day of work there many years ago. He was out walking a friends dog and they both got sprayed.......I told him to bathe himself and the dog in tomato juice, several times and it helped, somewhat. He had to throw his suit away. Even the drycleaners could not get rid of the smell!

Babs said...

Hi MIke. Good information. Thanks. This possum, if that is what it was, is the biggest one I have ever seen. I did have one who liked to sit on the ledge outside my bedroom window up on the hill and hiss at the cat and everything else. Once I knew what it was, I wasn't so worried but darn, they sure can hiss and growl loudly. I'm sure having dogs stops a whole lot from coming around. I miss having a dog or cat!

PURPLE HULL PEAS! Wowza. I'm thrilled for you. I have never had luck with seeds but if I have explicit instructions, of course, I would give it a try. Just thinking of purple hulls and cornbread makes me salivate.

Thanks for your offer. So, I see we are neighbors here in Los Frailes. Great.

Glenn Wilson said...

"Would you like for me to add it to my blogroll?"
Sure. That would be great. I'll send you an email with the RSS feed link. Which I think will work. :-)

Babs said...

Thanks Glenn. Got your email.

Clete said...

Buy a small amount of acido borico (boric acid) and mix some with a little powdered sugar (not granulated>) put it in some small containers (the tops from the 19L water bottles work great) and place them in discreet places in the bath and kitchen, like behind the stove or refrigerator, inside cabinets, places roaches like to visit. The powdered sugar works as an attractant and the boric acid will kill them. They also take it back to the nest on their legs and the young roaches will eat it which kills them also. Boric acid is very benign, only dangerous in large amounts, larger than small kids or pets will consume.

Babs said...

Thanks Clete for the information! Learn something new every day. I know have a cover over the shower drain and a netted cover the kitchen sink. Only means of access for any "bug". We'll see what happens. Never a dull moment.