What naturally goes along with a Cabin In The Woods? Well critters of every kind, of course! Some of them are welcome and some are not. On my must-have-list are butterflies, birds and bats (except not in my cabin). Making the OK list is turtles and frogs and on my thanks-but-no-thanks list is ants, spiders, snakes, raccoons, gophers, flies mosquitoes, bees, hornets and all other bugs, to name a few.
Living in the woods without sharing your outdoor space with many of these creatures is next to impossible. We are, after-all, invading their domain; the place they call home. If they could communicate in a way that we could understand I wonder what they would say?
There are two creatures that seem to have collided with my Little Cabin in the Woods, the ant and an unknown guest. Evidence of the ant population can be seen just about everywhere. The tell-tale sign of their presence is their characteristic mound. I’m sure you’ve seen them. Their painstakingly assembled home gently rises above the surface of the earth. All those tiny little grains of sand are neatly stacked in a shape similar to that of a volcano.
Hoards of ants can be seen maintaining their tiny home. My Little Cabin in the Woods apparently has laid out the welcome mat for these critters because there has been an ongoing battle between us and them. They have found the cool, dark refuge beneath the rug on my deck to be an irresistible location to raise a colony. Left undisturbed the space between the surface of my wooden deck and the underside of my rug can become quite crowded.
I discovered their secret hiding place one day while sweeping the rug. The edge of the rug happened to catch on the bristles of my broom. As my broom swept across, the edge flipped up. With the rug raised into the air I could see the surface beneath the rug; that’s when I became aware of the ant colony. Hurriedly the ants began scurrying away.
To encourage their complete exodus I turned the edge of the rug over even further and anchored it down with a few large stones. I also assisted with their move by swiping my broom over the surface of the wooden deck.
To promote the drying out of the wood, I allowed the breeze and the sun to do their thing. Once the moisture had been evaporated I released the rug from the weight of the rocks and allowed it to return to its original position. Now every once in a while I lift the rug to see if the ants have returned, but so far they have not.
Ants have occasionally been found inside my trailer but never to the extent that I have found them on the side of my Little Cabin in the Woods. For a time an army of ants could be seen marching along the edge of the electrical cord that has attached my cabin to power. From the thick, round, black cord they marched single-file up the steep expanse of the side of my Little Cabin in the Woods to the roof. What attracted them to those heights is beyond me.
Not knowing what their intentions were we decided to discourage their continued migration by spraying the cord and the side of my cabin with an environmentally friendly deterrent. After a few repeated applications the mass progression came to a halt. Now all that can be seen are the occasional explorers.
The most puzzling creature is the one that has taken up residence between a small segment of the wall on the east side of my Little Cabin in the Woods. I first noticed his/her existence while busying myself with sewing. Over the whir of my machine I was startled by what sounded like scratching or chewing of wood. At first I thought the noise came from my little companion Sadie but a quick check for her proved me wrong. Sadie was sound asleep, snoring in her favorite place, totally unaware.
I listened further. Whatever was inside continued to chew. I tapped on the wall and it stopped, waited a while and started again. I tapped harder and more frequently. I wanted my message to come through loud and clear. For a time the sound stopped. I had no idea who was making their presence known nor of what species the creature belonged.
At first I thought it might be a red squirrel. Red squirrels have earned the reputation of being a nuisance here. While they haven’t, as of yet, to my knowledge, made their presence or should I say done damage to my Little Cabin in the Woods they have raised havoc at the home behind mine.
From time to time I have heard them scamper across the roof of my refuge and for a time thought one of them might be my unwanted guest. I’m fairly certain the red squirrel is not to blame because I had the owner of the property walk around on top of my roof looking for tell-tale signs of a visit but none were found.
Left on my list of suspected culprits is either a mouse or a bat. I’m strongly leaning toward a bat because of the habits it is exhibiting. Activity seems to take place in the morning when I would expect a bat to return and in the evening when it would want to leave.
I make it a habit to annoy the mysterious guest by tapping on the wall in the vicinity of the latest noises. By creating a noisy environment I’m hoping I might be able to annoy it to encourage an early departure. Then again I’m not certain a checkout is possible because my husband has been methodically sealing up every entry point he can find. It’s quite possible that my unwanted guest may be trapped. Only time will tell.
I know that bats are our friends, especially here, because they are voracious consumers of the pesky mosquito. However I would much rather accommodate them with shelter far away from my Little Cabin in the Woods.
I will provide updated information on my guest’s identity and his/her fate as further tidbits are made available. Until then I say thank you to the creatures of these woods for allowing me to live alongside them in separate habitats. As long as they leave me alone I will do the same.