Last night at Casa Andrews:
We had sedge wrens nesting in a hanging flower bucket right by our door, which meant we had to be super vigilant about keeping cats inside and watching Charlie, because Frenchies have a serious prey drive. The little birds have finally flown their nest yesterday and today, but at the time we didn’t know if all of them were gone or if some of them were left.
This is likely a rat snake, and it ended up going into a hole in the foundation under the house. They are generally harmless.
But Gordon wanted me to tell you this story. So we’ve had coyotes howling and so on closer to the house than usual. Our property is country dark at night but very safe. The main worry we have is that skunks and other small critters do climb over and burrow under our fence, so we have to watch the dogs late at night. Because getting skunk stink out of dog fur is very hard.
So Kid 1 and I are out there, watching the dogs about eleven at night, the last outside excursion before we go to bed.
Rustling. Very loud, very forceful rustling that sounds like something large is stomping around through dead leaves and bushes just outside our fence in the area where we hid our trashcans.
Kid 1 takes off for the house, chased by dogs.
By the time I get to the house, Gordon is heading to the back and he has a gun. Because that’s what Texas men do when they hear strange things prowling.
In all fairness, he has been feeding deer. I blame Darryl. Darryl is our neighbor and he boasted to Gordon that he can sit in a chair outside and feed deer out of his hand. Now my husband wants to feed deer out of his hand as well. He bought the approved deer feed, because corn is bad for the deer. Deer attract mountain lions and coyotes. We get dead deer in our neighborhood occasionally that look like something ate them.
The conventional wisdom is that loud noises will shoo the predators off, hence the gun. However, everyone in the family knows that if my husband did encounter a mountain lion while armed with the gun, not only he wouldn’t shoot it, he would likely try to feed it.
But anyway. My now armed husband and I go to the back. He has a gun. I have a stick.
There is nothing. Just trashcans.
Me: I’m going to bang on the trashcan. Don’t shoot anything.
Gordon: I’m not going to shoot anything.
I hit the trashcan with my stick.
Gordon: It sounds huge.
Me: It’s a racoon.
Gordon: Yeah, racoon the size of Sookie. (Sookie is 80lbs of dog.)
I bang on the trashcan again.
Out comes itsy bitsy armadillo the size of a house cat and streaks in panic into the darkness.
And that is our scary Texas wildlife story.