Terry Marotta: One mighty odd summer

Terry Marotta

Items of note, August Issue:

STRANGE WEATHER PATTERNS SEEN – There can be no doubt the weather’s been odd, what with droughts and floods and, in June and July in the nation’s capital, the warmest two months of any on record. Small wonder they’re all behaving badly in the halls of power.

Plus, all these atmospheric changes have brought about other odd phenomena:

ANOMALOUS WILD-ANIMAL BEHAVIOR RAMPANT – Neighbors at summer cottage report that a huge black bear lumbered into their yard and started vandalizing the birdfeeder. When challenged, it growled, pawed the earth, then heaved over to driveway’s edge to unsheathe a set of 4-inch claws and tear the door of their shed off. Where is Smoky when you need him? Never mind the right to bear arms, how about the right to arm bears if the bear is a veteran forest ranger with 100 years’ experience?

Suburbanites everywhere report coyote invasion. Wolf-like dogs with coats in need of deep conditioning, they are now seen in streets and on sidewalks, some reportedly trying to score free meals at Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary meetings. Consternation abounds among domestic four-footers, seen to cringe and tremble at the howling.

LARGE-ANIMAL ODDNESS MIGRATES TO SMALL-ANIMAL POPULATION - The fellas at the hardware store report a run on rat poison and mouse traps. Customer say, “Mice everywhere!” and for sure they’re in the kitchen of Yours Truly - so often I expect them to start cooking.

Time was, mice would show up in November and hole up in the kitchen drawer with the candles in it. Only they’re in this drawer right now, in high summer, even though more than a year has passed since the candle remains were ousted. Instead mice are feasting on the long skinny plastic paint palettes you get with your basic children’s watercolor sets. I opened the drawer just now to find every SINGLE oval-shaped cake of color gone. Making mental note to look for rainbow-colored mouse tracks.

PECULIAR TRAITS EVIDENT EVEN AMONG BIRDS - Starting June 1, Yours Truly has had the pleasure of watching a mourning dove strut and advertise her charms like a lady of the night in an Amsterdam window, this not six feet away from where YT sits writing all day. Gentleman callers come for dates. Dates end in babies, two separate hatchings’ worth so far. Yours Truly confesses herself initially much charmed, later much appalled. A strong acrid scent has begun wafting into the room as the nest sits higher and higher atop a pile of dirty birdy-dipes. Has the lady-dove no sense of timing or proportion? Yours Truly sets out both religious tracts and birth control pamphlets, hoping to cover all bases.

FINALLY, JUST WHEN ONE DECIDES THINGS CAN’T GET ANY ODDER - a lady in Yours Truly’s hometown drives by wearing small white dog around her neck like a feather boa. Dog resembles the late J. Edgar Hoover.

Used to be, foolish people texted and talked on mobile phones while driving. This lady is driving while reading a book with photo on front cover of exactly such a Hoover dog, which just goes to show you: However strange and abnormal Mother Nature behaves, humans can still beat Her every time.

Write to Terry at terrymarotta@verizon.net or c/o P.O. Box 270 Winchester MA 01890. Enter her name and the word ‘dove’ on the search engine of your choice to see pictures on her blog of that intrepid sill-inhabiting bird family.