Cottage Status Report 20220604

Adorable Henry as a baby

The Buicks have emerged from their winter slumber. The ones that live under the dock sun themselves with smug entitlement but startle and slip between the boards when I stomp my feet to gain a spider-free walkway to the swim ladder. I am not sure where the fuzzy dinner-plate-sized specimen that hangs out between the screen porch door and the back deck came from and I am afraid to ask in case he introduces me to the rest of his family. And I have no idea what he eats because the remaining cat is present and accounted for. A few days ago there was an incident with the door (which fortunately I was not there to witness) that resulted in an amputation so he is now seven-legged. I hope he does not sue. I also hope he takes his gimpy self somewhere else, because now, when I want to go into the kitchen from outside, I have to go through the other door and down the hall.

I need to buy a Cray computer. Maybe I can pick a used one up for cheap. In case you are unaware, Crays are supercomputers that can crunch numbers at the speed of light. I need a Cray because that is the only way I could possibly keep track of my bug bite tally. Monkeypox has nothing on my mosquito welts and no-see-um bumps. Every year I hope my allergic response will exhaust itself after a few weeks of bombardment. Every year I am wrong.

The hummingbirds are back. The raccoons are back. Because of the latter, the hummingbird feeder must be brought inside at night. If I forget to do this, the best-case scenario is a drained-dry feeder (with or without fake flower bits removed) wafting in the morning breeze. The worst-case scenario is finding the feeder on the gravel driveway, irredeemably trashed. Last year, we went through about ten of them, promoting hummingbirds to a major line item on the shopping list. No doubt hummingbird feeders are subject to this year’s persistent supply chain issues/plastic shortages/random reasons for price gouging in the guise of unavoidable inflationary pressures, so the necessity for replacement is to be diligently avoided.

But back to the problem at hand. The hummingbird feeder drips a trail of sugar water when it is detached from its hanger. The trail of sugar water attracts a trail of medium-sized ants, creating a black conga line from the front door to the kitchen sink, where the feeder rests overnight. Previously, my process was to leave it on the table the screen porch to rest on a coffee can lid, but once I became aware of the giant heptopod guarding the door I decided this was no longer advisable.

Another purchase that will not be repeated this year is the water thermometer(s) that floated out to oblivion within nanoseconds of being attached to the ladder. Kind of a dumb idea anyhow. Is it really possible to look at a temperature reading and determine whether or not the water is swimmable? Perhaps if it is registering a negative number or a significantly positive one, but everything else in between remains an enigma until an extremity has been firmly inserted in the lake. I am pleased to report that my extremities and every body part in between are completely happy with the current lake climate status, which indicates I do not need any third-party validation for swimability for the foreseeable future. As they say, choose your battles. There are many more summer skirmishes to be fought, like whether or not radishes belong in salads (or to even exist on this planet). The answer, in case you were wondering, is decidedly not.   

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