Towl Park Journal Day 73, March 7, 2017

Towl Park Journal Day 73, March 7, 2017

A better day. The wind is gone, but the temps down as well. A good twenty degrees less than what they were yesterday.

 

These weather fluctuations are hard to acclimate against. One day it is sandals weather, the next you need a heavy sweater.

 

We are having a strange situation with mice lately. I am not squeamish about mice. I grew up in an old house and my mother set out traps every autumn and winter in our kitchen. It was not uncommon for us to be sitting in the living room and hear the loud SNAP! of a mouse trap. My mother, a stoic, unemotional sort of person, would carry them outside to the back yard waste bins and deftly unsnap the dead mouse and send it to the bottom of the trash can.

 

I now live in an older house again. We've had mice every autumn and winter. They've only occasionally been caught inside our home, but we've caught several in our attached garage. T pinpointed the place that they seemed to favor: a tiny broom closet in our kitchen that is right next to the back door to the garage. After she determined that we had a newer, smarter breed of mouse this year who were evading our traps, snapping them but not getting caught, she set up a virtual obstacle course of traps, both snapping and sticky. When she showed them to me last autumn I had laughed. It looked very strange. Oddly enough, that seemed to do the trick. All through the autumn and winter months, we caught about one mouse every week. Sometimes, they looked very odd. They'd be caught in a trap by their back legs with a sticky trap attached to their head, Or, their back feet attached firmly to a sticky trap with their front leg in a snap trap.

 

Around the first week of February, we stopped catching mice. The weather was so mild, we figured that they'd already moved to their summer vacation homes in our back yard. But, towards the end of February, we suddenly began catching a mouse almost every day. The weather was still unseasonably warm. We had no idea why there was this sudden surge in mice. Perhaps, we thought, they knew something we didn't....like March and April would be brutally cold and snowy. It could happen. This is Nebraska. There have been massive ice storms in late April. One year, we had snow in early May.

 

T has the fun job of killing the mice if they are still alive. She has a tender heart towards them. I don't. Once, she mused to me, "Wouldn't it be great if they could be like Disney mice? Like sewing and dancing and singing?"

 

I had looked her incredulously. "No," I finally sputtered out. "Because if that were the case, then we would have to adopt them. Please just kill the vermin!"

 

T is tender about this, too. The mice deaths at our house are quick and relatively painless. She gently sets them free in a plastic bag, twirls it shut, and slams them on their head speedily with a hammer to put them out of their misery before the dizziness wears off.

 

Today, I see a mouse at Towl Park. I start to wonder if there is some sort of mouse epidemic in the city. I've never seen a mouse at this park, but as I sit in my lawn chair, my eye catches movement in the grass beside me and there it is...a tiny gray mouse. It is moving along swiftly as if it has a destination in mind. And then, when it is a good ten feet away from me, a large bird ( a hawk?) swoops down on it, clasps it tightly, and flies away. I sit staring, open mouthed, long after it is gone and then ponder the mouse's fate. I am guessing that while house mice live on a less wholesome diet, at least their deaths are fast. A mouse in the wild has a more healthy diet of bugs and vegetation, but their deaths are more gruesome. So, which would I prefer to be? A house mouse or a nature loving one? I think that if I were a mouse, I'd chose to be a house mouse but I'd learn a set of skills. Like...um...sewing, singing or dancing. My mother used to stress that one's odds get better with education. I tend to agree. Thoroughly.

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Comments (1)

  1. alanasanderson

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    March 17, 2017