Thursday, June 12, 2008

A morning visitor, and HSCs

Last year at the beginning of spring, the feral cats from the abandoned house next door were pooping in my pots. It was that nice soft soil. I set up some VC-style punji sticks, using wood kebob skewers, and that cured that. I only put up a few sticks this year and had no problem, even though I see the cats slink up the stairs every once and a while to torment Barky, the half-naked blind dog up there (perhaps his name should be Lear). But this morning, I watched a squirrel, peanut in mug, come scamper into the Back 40 and bury the evidence. Ah-ha! So that explained that: when I turned my soil at the beginning of the season, I noted one or two peanuts and assumed that they were dropped from above. (Living on the ground floor, I collect the shit of the floors above: pacifiers, rubber balls, and other baby-stuff; dog hair, dog chews; metal screws and nuts; general trash, which is mostly wind-borne.) Grrrr. Some wanker is feeding peanuts in shells to the local wildlife. Back to the punji sticks!
These are telsons, or horseshoe crab tails. I missed Natalie Angier’s piece on horseshoe crabs, but through the wonder of the 5-day window at the Times, here it is. Absolutely amazing creatures: a species 445 million years old, with copper-based blood, keystone to an entire ecology, and we’re turning them into chum.

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