He didn't growl. He didn't chirp, as he does with birds and my fuzzy sleep socks. He just watched and switched his tail thoughtfully.
It occurred to me that I can see perfectly well on the back porch if I turn off the interior lights and let my eyes adjust. By the time I did that, Hermes was interested in what I was doing rather than the 'whatever' outside. The 'whatever' wasn't in evidence either, and I was ready to lay the blame on the 'possums, until I noticed one of the big wooden bird feeders was swinging very hard though nothing else was so much as shivering in an errant breeze. Not that there was a breeze, because it's been one of those calm, cool, drizzly autumn days here. Um. Well, then.
It's November, bear. Go to sleep. And as for you feline lummoxes, snoozing on my bed, you hit the deck whenever my friends and family come over, even when you see them almost weekly for months, but ignore a bear? No catnip for you.
Which probably saved me from a very exciting evening.
The buzz was a big yellow hornet, which are usually pretty calm, for hornets. This one was exceedingly pissed off, hovering about four feet from the door and aimed at me.
Reasonably enough, I took one big step back and closed the door. The hornet landed on the concrete floor of the porch and proceeeded to sting the ever living shit out of it. Then it crawled onto a dark green piece of plastic and stuing it into submission. Then it landed on the black handle of my umbrella and is still stinging it. It's been over an hour and it's still going strong. These things fly by night, too, so this could go on for a while.
I think the dog is staying outside tonight and so is the laundry. And I'm going to embrace my terror of bees, wasps, and their kin and never leave the house again, because they really are out to get me.
More seriously, I'm curious to know what has angered this bug so much. What did the back porch and some plastic do to you, little fella? ... And how soon will some bird or bat notice your distraction and eat you (and your Mom and all your sisters, if I'm lucky)? ... And what is it about human nature that gives me such a strong urge to toss something onto the porch, to see what this hornet will do?
As usual, this starts with seeing some movement out of the corner of my eye. I immediately thought 'lizard', which is cool because the lizards here are cute and harmless, and, yes, sometimes do get in the basement for reasons of their own. The door's open during the day, so they can come and go as they please.
I kept looking into the shadow under the wash sink and yes, dark scales. Lots of scales so... a really long lizard... with two tails twining together and and no head, or... It did take me a moment to realize what I was seeing. They're just black snakes (non poisonous, don't mess with them, they won't mess with you), but if I wind up with a basement full of snakelets I will be most displeased.
And that's how doing laundry was actually exciting today.
It's funny how phobias work: if those had been two wasps buzzing at the windows (far from the washing machine), I'd have been cowering. Snakes within three feet of my legs... meh. So long as it's not threatening me, whatever. Though I won't be walking in there blind anymore, because even black snakes don't like being walked on.
I am now formally fostering the calico manx for an animal rescue group (there was paperwork, and everything). And I now know that people who claim you can get in anywhere if you have a clipboard and act like you know what you're doing aren't entirely full of it. No, sir, I can't put a hold on the black poodle mix, because I'm not a volunteer for the group. Please to note absence of bright red shirt with group's name on it, yes?
So, Calliope pics under the cut.
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It was meant to be a Christmas present but... yeah (project idea from my sister for her dil, so working on it was hard). Anyway, now to embark on turning it into a Kindle sleeve. The bit of orange at the bottom is going to be the lining. Though if she turns it inside-out, the recipient will at least be hard-pressed to lose her Kindle. ;-p The color quality kind of sucks: the thread is all the shades of purple (and blue--I don't care what the DMC manufacturers think--their blueish purple swings into blue in one case).
At this point, I don't. Neither the original pattern nor the sashay yarn version at the linked to site worked for me, though if I had some starch I could have made an epic witch's hat, since the center of the spiral wanted very badly to form a long, tapered tube.
So, I decided to do it my way.
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So, productivity? Nil. Christmas is nearly upon me and I have a present that may not be ready in time, so, yay, embroidering like a madwoman, albeit not on a long overdue feathery thing, sorry. And I'm supposed to be making candy. Hack hack cough COUGH--people want my candy, I'm sure.
There has been no decorating and the furballs all still hate Percival, which causes Percival to snuggle up to me all the time, which makes them hate him more, and I don't want to deal with that and a Christmas tree, so no decorating. Also I get winded throwing a towel over the shower doors, so carrying the wee little fake tree down from upstairs is not happening for a while yet. However, the house may smell slightly Christmas-y, though I have no sense of smell so who knows, because I'm experimenting with feline pine litter. It still smells fresh out of the bag because my cats refuse to use it so far.
This post has been brought to you by half a dose of DayQuil and a lack-of-yoga grouchiness.