Sunday, September 15, 2013
I live near the Rio Grande. The riparian forest is thick with cottonwood, Russian olive, ash, walnut, locust and tamarisk trees. Underneath are raspberry, currant and plum bushes, clematis and Virginia creepers, asters, sunflowers and goldenrods, and the unavoidable ragweeds, thistles and nettles.
Insects thrive here. Rodents thrive. Lizards and small snakes dine on the many insects and rodents. Birds, in turn, dine on insects, rodents, lizards and small snakes. Small mammals eat their share. It is an animal metropolis.
My garden is part of this vibrant community. My property is a Certified Wildlife Habitat. I like the feeling of belonging to this community. I like watching the birds, lizards and butterflies. I approve of the caterpillars, snakes and skunks.
The insects...well, I'll say I tolerate them. They are unpopular neighbors, but they have a right to live here, too. As long as they keep to themselves. Many of them are unlucky. They get caught in the open, uncovered or dug out of their shelters and become a meal for my more preferred neighbors. That's just part of life.
Occasionally, insects come into my private human reserve. A 4-inch centipede came in early one morning. I was making my bed when he ran up the inside of my nightgown and bit me on the hip. I beat him to death with my slipper. I had heard these were poisonous, so I dressed and went to work. I feared being alone when I died. The result was only a pair of itchy red bumps, much like mosquito bites. Score: Human 1, Insect 0.
This afternoon when I drove into my garage and began unloading my groceries, I found a large roach, freshly squashed by my rear tire. A little drama played out on the floor.
I can see the scenario clearly. He had claimed a home inside. Food from the trash can, no birds in sight, a great place to settle and raise a family. Peace and prosperity!
Suddenly, danger loomed...some big black object. He dashed for his life. It missed him! He was standing on the drive, panting, wiping his brow, and thanking his speedy legs that he had made an escape, when a second black object rolled over his celebration!
I almost felt sorry for that roach. How like me, he was. Studying and planning and making what seemed to be the right choice. Viewing his little body made me reflect that luck has a big part in everyone's life.
Luck and persistence.
Savoring our success a little early might be fatal to our plans.
We must all carry on.........