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.