Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bump In The Night

So...we had another lunar eclipse this evening.

I was afraid we wouldn't get to see much of it, as the moon was almost fully obscured in clouds when it first rose, but as you can see, things cleared off as our little satellite coasted across the sky.

With a temperature of about 23 as our average high for the week (forgetting all about Monday's 50s...), I didn't have the motivation to go out and crouch in the dunes as I did for August's late night lunar eclipse...and besides, with the same camera, how could I top those pics?

I was at work during the first half of the event, and so took these without benefit of a tripod. Being tired and cold when I got home, I was really more interested in sitting by the fire than standing outside in the dark watching the eclipse.

And as you'll see, the later part of the evening brought some distraction.

Yes, friends, what you see here raiding our window bird feeder here is indeed a rat. Augh.

Despite his appearing to be tidy and almost "cute", at least compared to some big nasty, mean-looking city rats I've encountered over the years, I'm still not real pleased with this new turn of events.

Now, before you all jump on me, yes, I know, they really aren't any worse than the squirrels and chipmunks whose feeder raids I used to be amused by in Eastham. After all, just about any wild creature is potentially a carrier for disease or an agent of destruction. But now you'd never know that just a few days ago, I was feeling badly about having found a dead mouse in a trap under the sink.

When I stopped being freaked out and could comfortably put my feet back on the floor and turned on some lights, I did find that this website was pretty helpful in calming me down and offering some perspective on the bad reputation rattus carries with it after that unfortunate business years ago with the Black Plague.

Don't get me wrong: I loved Ratattouile--it was a great movie. And I haven't forgotten that Templeton the Rat was the one who brought Charlotte the cool words she wove into her webs.

But still, unless one of them appears at the door in a chef's hat, speaking French and offering to cook us a lovely dinner...and even then...I just don't like the idea of having them around.

Poison is a very last resort to our mind. No interest at all in rats dying in the walls or beneath the house, or poisoned ones being found by our dog or cat (or anyone else's, for that matter). Big deadly traps are also not our first choice, since the last thing we want is to accidentally kill any of the assorted cats and dogs who occasionally roam the neighborhood (those cats clearly aren't carrying their weight, BTW...).

We'll give the have-a-heart trap a try when we can get our hands on one of those, and see about a relocation campaign.

And so, the long winter of our discontent continues. Gee, what a great time we're having here in Harwich.

As Charlie Brown would say: "Rats!"

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