Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Second Plague of Moses

Whenever you move into a new place you never really know what to expect.  Think about it.  When you are renting or buying a new place you take a walk around once or twice and from those couple of experiences usually make a decision.  You look out for things that are undesireable and if there are enough things that you dislike about the house or the area, you just move on.  Let's say that you make the jump and decide to get a place.  It is only afterward that once you settle in that you begin to see things that you never really noticed before.  The quiet street that you thought was going to be quite turns out to be a thouroughfare for mothers picking up their children during the day from school.  A next door neighbor that likes to fix cars and ends up reving the engine of his car early in the morning.  These are just some things that one can not foresee unless you were able to spend a lot of time there.  In our last house it wasn't until the moment that we signed the contract and put down the earnest money that we were presented with the fact sheet about poisonous bites and stings.  Turns out that at the time there was no disclosure law that required you to tell your potential buyer that the house they were buying was a habitat to the 4th deadliest scorpion on the planet.  While our last house was nohwere near infested it was quite an extended battle for a decade of trying to keep them out of the house.  This time around it is much different.  when we inspected the house it turned out at one time that there were issues with field mice but that it had been addressed and there were not other problems (still much better than scorpions).

Having moved back to Northern California for cooler temperatures we selected a house that sits very close to a creek system that feeds into the American River.   The level of water that flows in the creek varies per the season along with amont of percipitation.  It never really over flows but when the rains come it is quite a site to see.  One of the reasons that we purchased this house was because of the proximity to the creeks and the trail system that follows along the banks.  If you look at it on the map we are a pitching wedge away from the Every morning Jill is up with the dog and out on the trails.  Upon her return I ask for a wildlife sighting report.  So far to day she has seen, rabbits, mice, ducks, quail, geese, turkeys, deer, herons, coyote and most recently beaver swiming in the creek.  She has heard reports of bobcat but has avoided the trail when that has happened.  

The one thing that I didn't expect was the frogs.  Millions of them.  As soon as the rains came and the creeks rose there was an explosion of them.  I knew that because we were close to wetlands that there would be some and maybe we would hear the occasional soothing ribbet of a frog in the distance but the sheer volume from their singing is actually deafening.  We had to close the windows it was so loud.  A couple of months ago we had the cable guy come out and rework some wiring on the outside of the house.  I had to pull away some wood that was used as siding and when I did about 30 frogs came flying out.  On occasion we find several stuck to the side of the house or on the sliding glass door on the back.  When we let the dog out to go to the bathroom we see them leaping to get out of the way and one or two of them land in the pool.  Aside from them being on the outside of the house we have not had any of them come in.  With the occasional encounter in the yard or on the house it has been a plesant yet unexpected and at the same time not unwelcome experience. Even if the frogs were of the order of Dendrobatidae it would still be better than scorpions.

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