Sunday, June 17, 2012

Where have all the flowers (I mean critters) gone?

A grasshopper walks into a bar and the bartender says, "Hey, we've got a drink named after you!"
The grasshopper replies, "Why did you name a drink Bob?"

All joking aside, is it because we've had such crazy weather, or could it be the constant spraying of poisons that supposedly kill mosquitoes but also kill everything else that gets covered by this stuff? Or is it the relentless pursuit to clear every inch of land for more humanity bringing a proliferation of outdoor lights? I've read studies about lights having a negative effect on lightning bugs - like most of us, they prefer darkness for more intimate activities. Maybe it's just the natural cycle of things, but whatever it is, I am missing my friends that used to make The Crooked Little House their home.

I used to wake up to the sounds of my frog who thought he was a rooster and lived in the shutters of my bedroom window. Now it's quiet until my chittering wren begins to taunt the resident squirrel. And I would enjoy my second and third cup of coffee under the pergola with my octopus lizard who would rise each morning at 8:30 exactly to greet me. He would then take the same path down the same beam and disappear into the trumpet vine to find his breakfast. The space behind the wooden octopus by my front door now remains vacant.

Every evening if I saw my orb spiders making interesting webs, I would plan on getting up early before they would take them down. Some spiders remove their webs each morning and string a new one each evening. Then I would carefully collect the webs and frame them. (I'll tell you how to do this in a future blog.)
But so far this year, there are none to be found. Then again it's only June. Maybe there will be some late arrivals.

Here's a list of past residents I no longer see. I am sure there are many, many more.

Garden spiders, frightfully large and beautiful
Walking sticks that would hang out by the front door
"Flat" frogs that would stick to everything
Glass lizards by the woodpile near the dune
Carolina Mantis that loved the rosemary bush
Assorted butterflies, all sizes and colors
Quail that would bob up the drive in single file
Snails near the kitchen door
Fox that would show up at 6pm hoping for a dog biscuit by the stump
Hognose snake, flaring his neck like a cobra but playing dead when that didn't scare me

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
And I wake in the night at the least sound
In fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
Rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
Who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.
I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
Waiting with their light.
For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

                            - Wendell Berry


  1. Dear Ms. Corsa,

    As a 75 year old that always lived in the country I so enjoyed reading your article.
    We still have Daddy Long Legs here - lots of them. Is that what you call "Walking Sticks"?
    I now have lived in the NJ Pine Barrens (45 yrs.) and there are many interesting and rare
    frogs.Praying Mantises are all over our shrubs and vegetables - tiny ones that have recently
    hatched- and are so cute. We have one of those
    crazy spiders that spin their web at dusk and take it down at dawn. Snails, frogs, lizzards - you name it. Not to mention so many different kinds of bees. I am not afraid of any of these critters (not so for my husband) and love to study their comings and goings.
    BTH: we have a family of lizzards that sun themselves on our front porch. This must sound crazy but I gave them names.

    1. Hi, I'm replying to my own blog.
      I know what "walking sticks" are and they are
      not the same as Daddy long legs.
      Yes, we have "walking sticks" here, too
      I believe they must be related to praying

    2. Well Dolores, I need to move where you are! Thanks so much for sharing your information. And keep naming your "friends"!