Winter is approaching, and rather more quickly than I would really like. Sure, I’ve got the new stove and a shed chock full of dry hardwood, but I have to admit that I’ve really enjoyed our summer-like fall. “They” are calling for snow next week, but we’ll see what happens.
I had an inkling that this was coming anyway. Yes, I know that it’s October and that it’s a reasonable assumption to think that we’ll be getting snow soon. But last Friday, I got home from work and opened the front door. I let Pico and the cats out to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather. But when I went inside the cabin, I found a sight that told me winter was right around the corner.
The big window was literally covered in ladybugs. The little ladies and gents like to winter in houses, and since my place is the only building around for quite a distance, it only makes sense that they would seek shelter with me. But the amount of ladybugs trying to get into my house told me that there would be cold and snow before the forecasters ever did.
Shortly after that, I made a trip to the outhouse. I don’t talk about my outhouse a lot because I figured that not many (if any) of you would really want to hear about it. But don’t worry, this story will not be rich in detail.
My outhouse is a piece of junk. It was apparently built for people even shorter than me, and has at different times been used for target practice. So despite the small door and low ceiling, there is actually quite a bit of cross-ventilation created by the small holes where the twenty-two caliber shells went through the walls.
As I was sitting there, I heard a familiar sound. It was the scratchy scramble of a mouse. There are a couple of mice that call the cabin home, but so far they stay in the walls and don’t really bother me. But a mouse in the outhouse, that’s something new.
I glanced around and noticed some small pieces of paper trapped in a spider web near the upper corner. I had accidentally left the toilet paper holder open, and the mouse had helped itself to some of the wrapper. As I looked around, I also noticed that one of the pieces of plywood that make up the ceiling was peeling apart. I caught a glimpse of something moving up there and decided that this was a better setup than having them move into the cabin.
A few days later, I was again entering the outhouse and movement caught my eye. Three very little mice were scrambling up from the seat to the ceiling. They were in no hurry, and mama mouse leisurely followed them up the wall and into their little nest.
I have to admit, those little mice were awfully cute. I had no intention of evicting them from their spot, and just need to remember to close the toilet paper holder. And at this point, I honestly hope they have enough shelter to get them through the winter. I mean, they did pick a crappy place to live.