Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Summer’s Magic... and More Rodents!

It has been sweltering here in the Maritimes since we got home, just like it was in Sherbrooke. Since this is the weather I only dream of in the depths of winter, I don’t complain too much, but sleeping is hard and I didn’t even try to draw today. I hate trying not to sweat on artwork. Instead, we hid in the cool basement and I did a bit of charting.

After dinner, we went for a walk in the park near our house and picked raspberries as a family. We got almost 2 cups of them to bring home and wash in case of bugs, pesticides etc. I can remember walking with my Dad on Nun’s Island/ Ile des Soeurs near Montreal as a child and doing the same thing. I think we just ate them as we picked them back then...

The girls were busy telling me what a wonderful adventure that was and how that was just “one of the most funnest things about summer” when we noticed our neighbour out on her front step holding something small and furry in her hands. She is in the same class as Erin at school and so we went over to say hi. To their utter delight, Erin and Bethany discovered that she had 3 baby bunnies that her brother had rescued from a field over the weekend after the mother had been killed.

My girls sat there with their eyes shinning in excitement and their hands full of tiny, soft, fluffy bunnies!! I should have used these little rodents for the models of my dust bunnies... I think this will forever remain the “summer of the rodent adventures” in my memories!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Bigger Rodent Adventures!

We arrived home to more than one rodent adventure besides needing to say goodbye to Jellybean. Apparently, having no kids or lawnmowers around for a week, while we went up to see my Mom, was enough to convince a chubby, young groundhog to move in under our backyard shed. Since it is conveniently located next to my vegetable garden and flower beds, he also had a nearby buffet to enjoy! All of my lettuce had been neatly nipped away and many of my flowers nibbled off as well.

We actually learned of his presence as we pulled into our driveway to unload the van and saw something furry and brown scoot under the shed. Then, two of our neighbours each brought out their digital cameras to show us proof of our new guest! I'd been trying not to say much about being on the road in my blog because that kind of makes it obvious that you're away. We have someone to check on the house when we go away in August for the tradeshow, but this was a bit trickier since we had a rotation of friends stopping by to keep an eye on things.

Late Saturday night we borrowed a live trap from up the street and baited it with store bought lettuce and broccoli. I had to leave early for church on Sunday morning to practice anthems with the choir since it was our minister’s last service. Just as Nick was shaving, he heard a loud SNAP and looked out to see the whole cage hopping up and down on the back lawn. With a projected high of 34 (around 93 degrees), he thought it a bit cruel to leave the little guy in the cage for hours while we were at church, so he loaded the girls and the rodent into the van. Luckily we have a plastic cargo holder to protect the rear hatch part, because as soon as Nick loaded the groundhog into the scary metal van, he decided to leave his mark in as many ways as possible. They drove down to Mapleton Park, a wonderful wooded area with trails for walking, but also plenty of densely wooded areas, just a few minutes away in the now rather strongly smelling van. The family who was out walking their terrier didn’t actually make the situation better when Nick and the girls brought this poor caged critter out to be released, so they had to wait while the family got their pet loaded into the van and out of earshot. Nick didn’t even have to open the cage all the way before this furry little brown streak took off for the woods like a shot!

I didn’t get to hear the whole story until after church but I was very impressed that they all made it to the 10 am service, properly dressed and with the smelly cargo hold liner freshly washed to boot!

I certainly hope this is the end of our rodent adventures for a while!!!