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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Saga of a Country Mouse

The weather has been cold and dreary and rainy here all these many days. Despite the lack of encouragement from Mother Nature we are in the process of transforming the bare, gray porch on which are stored flower pots etc into what becomes an outdoor extension of our living room. We create a mini bower of flowers and vegetables in which we spend most of the nice weather, whenever it arrives.

Today Bill has planted his flower boxes of hot peppers and marigolds, and the morning glories that will become the Eastern wall of my special napping and reading hammock chair corner. He also has set up the pots that will hold the climbing cherry tomatoes supported by each porch post. He then turned his attention to the bench upon which my decorative clay pots are stored--he will fill them with soil for me and I will plant my coleus, petunias, pansies etc in them.

The pots are often stored one within another, upside down and so he began to excavate one pile on the far end of the bench. He removed the first pot and sunflower seeds and empty shells cascaded in all directions. The second pot removal produced nothing unusual, but when the third pot came off there was a rather vibrant green structure nicely rounded and cozy sitting on the bottom of the last pot. A curious head popped out of the center hole--surprising both the popper at seeing a large human type gazing down at her (?) and the poppee at seeing two small beady black eyes gazing at him. To be sure she was seeing correctly the little popper withdrew quickly and then popped her head as quickly out the side. Yup. A human! So she rapidly withdrew once more.

Bill called to me to come and so out I went, not knowing what to expect. As I bent for a closer look Mrs Mouse decided she'd had enough and with a moon and flick of her tail she departed out the back of the nest and down through a space between floor boards and gone. Upon further exploration I saw that she had ecologically reused the fibers of a perfectly good plant hanger to construct her winter hideaway. We aren't sure if there are little mousies still cozily nesting inside so we've decided to leave it alone for the time being and see what develops.

Our darling Soot would never have tolerated this boldness but Misty, better known as Queen La, who only goes out at night, will probably never notice. Soot is probably spinning--we saw a chipmunk the other day, too , and she had wiped that population out.

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