Friday, 26 June 2009

My family and other animals

One thing that has really surprised me here is the amount of wildlife, considering the fact that we are only 20 miles or so from New York City.

I don't mean that we have large mammals gambolling through the garden, although we do seem to have an unusually high number of fat squirrels. There is also a beautiful red parakeet-type bird that I have yet to identify, which is a bit more exciting than sparrows when you are staring out of the kitchen window doing the washing-up.

But Long Island being a good few degrees warmer than the UK, and a lot more wooded, means that we have an exotic insect population. For example, the other day I completely freaked out in the car when I realised that the faint tickling on my wrist was a simply enormous winged black creature. The Doctor thinks it may have been some kind of moth, but all I know is that it looked like a miniature version of a Doctor Who monster. It promptly disappeared down the side of my seat, only to re-emerge on my leg a minute or so later. At this point we had to stop the car and try to evict it, because The Doctor was not prepared to drive with me screaming out suddenly every few minutes. The wretched thing was now, of course, nowhere to be seen.

Then there are the mosquitoes. Every time I walk down the drive one of the little buggers comes to nibble me, and, following our neighbour's example, I have become paranoid about not leaving the porch door open at dusk. Littleboy 2 has obviously got this message. "Mummy, where are the scooters?" he asked the other day, staring out of the window. Darn, I thought, he's finally clicked that their mini-scooters aren't here - they, along with the rest of our shipment, have yet to arrive. It was only when Littleboy 1 started talking about 'scooter bites' later that I realised he meant the mosquitoes.

However, there is 'good' wildlife too. The fireflies glowing in the garden as we sit having supper. The rabbit that bounded right past the Littleboys as they played in a local playground. And the huge live hermit crabs we found on the beach yesterday, attracting a little crowd of fascinated kids. (On closer observation, the boys in the group just wanted to look at the underside of the crabs, while the girls wanted them to be killed or tortured.)

But there is one thing we don't (yet) appear to have. I nearly screamed the other day when The Doctor announced something from the kitchen; what I heard was "we have mice". Mice, the bane of my life in London - surely I should have known we couldn't escape from them. But no....he repeated, "We have ice". Yes, our great big American fridge/freezer makes industrial quantities of the stuff at the flick of a switch, as he had just discovered. So, lovely iced drinks and no rodents. Hurrah.


Hugo said...

The red bird is probably a cardinal - you see them often in Virginia too.

Lots of photos here

Millennium Housewife said...

Just don't mix mice and ice up, not so good in your G&T MH
ps word veri is mative - so many levels! (native, mating - as in mice not you although you could share- motive....feel free to add your own)

Expat mum said...

Let us know when you see your first possum. I nearly died when I saw one hanging in the tree on the front porch. Bright white and looking like a cross between a rat and a cat. Yeeuch!

Potty Mummy said...

So hopefully the mice won't have come along for the ride in your container when it arrives then...?

Nota Bene said...

Erm I'm beginning to be deeply suspicious of your so-called move to the States. Firstly, we have fat squirels here. Secondly we have rabbits too. And most tellingly, you claim to have been doing the washing up. They don't do that in the US of A - they have dishwashers. I know because I've seen it in the movies. So I suspect your ensconsed in Wiltshire or Dorset or somewhere.

Tara@Sticky Fingers said...

Loving those great big American fridges. Love it when you see them full to brimming with 'stuff' - in my reality that never happens!
Usually just filled with hubby's beer supply.

nappy valley girl said...

Hugo - thanks, and you are right!

MH - Long Island Mice Tea?

Expat Mum - I will look out for them! It was on the news last night that they found a bear in someone's backyard in New Jersey.....yikes.

PM - given the amount of time it's taken to arrive, hopefully they will have expired en route.

NB - yes, that's right actually, I'm still in Clapham, and all this is one big fantasy.....

Tara- we seem to have filled ours, but think this is a symptom of American supermarkets - as Mothership has pointed out elsewhere, somehow you seem to come out with twice as much stuff as you planned to buy.....

mothership said...

Feel grateful you do not have what we have - a family of 9 skunks living under your deck. I kid you not. And racoons and coyotes regularly patrolling the neighborhood. And a gopher who digs up our lawn that makes Husband MURDEROUS.
We don't have mice, though.
WV is bloodio. Thought it relevant to the 'scooter' issue!

Iota said...

Ha, well you're one step ahead of where I was when it comes to ice-makers. I remember going round to the house of one of Husband's new colleagues, and chatting to his wife, and she was talking about the ice-maker in the fridge, and I just nodded wisely and kept the conversation going, and didn't confess that I had no idea what she was talking about. (I think I got away with it.)

Almost American said...

Any cockroaches?

I lived in the US for 20 years before I had a fridge with an ice-maker!