Bushy Tail

This morning, putting on my makeup for work, and not having my glasses on, noticed movement in my peripheral vision.  A small coyote on the far side of my chaise lounge on the bedroom patio, but all I could see were his ears and a very fluffed out tail, like my cat does when she’s protecting her turf.1   Never seen that before.  What would scare a coyote?  A javelina, protecting the herd2, a larger coyote, a mountain lion, a human, perhaps even a bobcat. Anyway, I grabbed my camera, but it had looked back at whatever it was afraid of, and disappeared through the fence. I went outside to look, but saw nothing on either side.


I thought that the diatomaceous earth that I bought was getting rid of the ants.  (It’s the skeletons of sea creatures, so tiny they’re supposed to stab the ants.)  Today, a beautiful day, they were taking over the guest bedroom!  I started smushing them, but then got the vacuum out and sucked up hundreds.  (Will they start a new colony in the vacuum bag?  I usually suck up a spider too, just in case, but no spiders to be seen today.)   Last week’s Times had a commentary, On Smushing Bugs:

When my kitchen became infested with ants this summer, as it does every year, I put out ant traps, which, in another annual rite, did exactly nothing. So I did what I always end up doing — inefficiently smushing the ants one by one. Sometimes I’ll massacre dozens at a time in a fit of pique after catching them glutting themselves in my sugar bowl, but then, seeing a single ant moping around on the counter looking sort of forlorn and hangdog, I’ll hesitate. He looks like maybe he’s not having such a great day already. Getting smushed is the last thing this guy needs.3

My cousin says she uses orange oil, so I first tried rubbing an orange peel on the tile floor in the kitchen where they scout.  Did not deter them in the least.  Maybe it only works on Texas ants.

November 22

635523496509540519-AP-El-Tour-de-TucsonLast weekend was El Tour de Tucson4, our annual perimeter bicycle race, with  over six thousand participants riding from 1/4 mile (kids on trikes) to 104 miles.  Gabrielle Gifford and her husband did 5 miles.  (Photo from the Net.)

I haven’t ridden in El Tour since my kids were young.  Instead, on Saturday morning I was out on Anklam Road cleaning up trash (some accidental, maybe blown from a trash truck, some purposeful, such as beer bottles and soda containers) with our chapter of the Sierra Club.  (The woman I was working with drove us to the site in her Mercedes SUV.)

That evening saw Rigoletto, an Arizona Opera performance.  Fabulous!  As an architect I loved  the set.  Such a change from the dreadful ones over thirty years ago when I last had season tickets.  I thought that the best voice was the daughter’s, clear and high like rubbing your finger along the top of a crystal goblet.  Of course Rigoletto and the count and the assassin had great voices too.


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One Response to “Bushy Tail”

  1. Jim Says:

    Why not enter the race for the exercise and fun?
    I spray our red biting ants repeatedly, every summer, with Windex – until the colony is depleated of its hundreds small workers and their large defenders.

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