Tarzan cafe
Thursday October 16th 2014, 10:19 pm
Filed under: Life,Wildlife

Going to Wikipedia I discover that another name for our Chinese elm is Lacebark elm. Who knew. How perfect for a knitter’s home. I’d have taken a photo of the trunk earlier if I’d known–but I can definitely say that that name fits.

But what started all this was an odd enough sight that I stopped and simply watched for awhile: five squirrels and surely more where I couldn’t see, all hanging upside down with the ends of their tails just barely wrapped around the branch above them, hanging onto the very flimsiest of limbs. In tandem. Three of them in this shot. The one in the foreground pulled his head up when I pulled the camera out.

They were reaching for the very ends of the twigs and bending them back towards them, working rapidly through the small flowers.

But they didn’t seem to be eating the flowers, rather, pushing their noses side to side through them: they were searching for the bugs that seemed to be hiding in them. Every now and then one would pull itself triumphantly upright hand over careful hand, one paw, a second, a third, a fourth, rock-climbing the air back to a steadier spot. Wait oh whoops! Almost! as a fragile twig broke off and fell below while the thing scrambled wildly.

But a big black beetle. Now, that was worth sitting up in a good spot where you could enjoy it with two paws free to hold it as you bite off the best parts first.

I’ve seen those bugs. The past few Octobers, they’ve come down through the heating vents (they seem to only fall, not fly) trying to find a good place to overwinter. They have no business being inside my house. (To everyone back East dealing with their cousins the invasive stink bugs that also like to come in in the Fall, I know I really have nothing to complain about, but I still don’t like them.)

This year, though, the furnace and the damaged, gaping ductwork across the roof have been replaced. (Thank you Joe Lerma!) The trees have been cut back from over the house. If a bug gets shaken loose it will fall to the ground outside where it belongs.

The squirrels are getting all the bugs. They’re not in my house anymore and it is Fall again and they’re not coming back in.

I cannot tell you how wonderful that is.

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In 1936 when we moved into our new house in Carson City, ours was one of six filling the block, three on each side of the street. (The blocks were only 180 feet long.) Dad convinced the other five owners to join him in planting Chinese elms in the parking to give the block an attractive look. And because the variety would grow faster and be attractive. That was true, but
they were also brittle.
I don’t remember stink bugs in MD–but lots of other things when the house sits in the woods. Here in Utah the fall best is Box Elder bugs, which are trying to get indoors. We have even seen one on our windows way up on the 11th floor. They were a real nuisance where I had my art back in the ground floor e apartment on 13th East.

Comment by Dad 10.17.14 @ 1:42 am

Lacebark sounds so much prettier, in my book. I’m glad you’re not buggy anymore!

Comment by Channon 10.17.14 @ 5:38 pm

One box elder bug is cute. Hundreds, many getting into the house because of bad window design, is not fun. I’m generally a non-violent person, by my vacuum cleaner and I have been committing insecticide right a left.

Comment by LauraN 10.17.14 @ 8:09 pm

Go squirrels!

Comment by twinsetellen 10.17.14 @ 8:49 pm

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