VALOIS, New York, USA - All of our family and guests have left, leaving the Admiral and I alone here at Casa Louise for the balance of the summer with a list of to-do projects that's quite impressive.
But since most of the humanoids left, the natives - squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks and deer have come back to reclaim the property.
One doe is so tame it comes down the hill each morning as I burn the trash out back, looking to see if I throw anything green on the compost pile. A big cottontail rabbit has also taken up residence and started munching my flowers. He no doubt will take out after my vegetables soon.
Looking for breakfast
Squirrel and rabbit looking for chow
The rabbits are something of a novelty here at the house.
Last summer there were a few very tiny rabbits at the bottom of the hill, quite shy critters. This year they have grown up. And, as rabbits are wont to do, have multiplied like, well, rabbits, so that wherever we walk around the neighborhood, we are likely to spot one or two munching clover or in people's gardens.
This is serious gun country, and so I think the crack of rifle fire I hear occasionally might be the dispatching of a rabbit, though it makes me sad to think so.
Of course, they haven't started snacking on my tomato plants yet.
There are also raccoons in the neighborhood, though we haven't seen one yet this summer. Those little bastardos will get into your garbage cans and make one helluva mess. Several years ago one chewed his way through the screen on the front porch to get at a plastic bag of trash. And he didn't want to leave when the Admiral discovered him awash in the rotting vegetables he spread on the floor.
The Admiral eventually prevailed and he left - no surprise there - though the raccoon lurked around the house for the balance of the summer, hoping for a treat.
In my reading about upstate New York mammals (trying to see if there are otters in Seneca Lake) it seems that there are still a few moose on the loose in the state, though I'm not sure I would want to meet up with one of them wandering down our hillside while I burn newspapers in the morning.
Don't mess with Moose
The only moose I want to meet up with is Bullwinkle.
Bullwinkle J. Moose