Living out in the country has its drawbacks. We are a good 15 minute, 10 mile drive to the nearest grocery store. If we want to go to a movie in the evening, it is even further – nearly 15 miles, and an infuriating drive through the traffic congested streets. Friends don’t just “stop by.” Bicycling to work is possible, but not feasible. Add to that the fact we’ve got animals – three dogs, one cat, five horses. And fences to mend, stalls to clean, a house to maintain, hay to put up…sometimes the lure of town living is strong.
But then we sit out on our porch on a Sunday afternoon, hearing nothing but the rustle of leaves in the cottonwoods, an occasional airplane, a neighbor’s tractor humming in the distance. We have an unobstructed view of the foothills. On a clear day we can see Pike’s Peak. We can take a three mile walk and never touch pavement. The drivers of the few cars that pass give a friendly wave. The air is clear (except when the wind blows, which it does perhaps all too frequently!) We see Swainson , Redtail and Sparrow Hawks. Peregrine falcons. Bluebirds, hummingbirds, magpies, crows, sparrows, finches, bluejays and meadowlarks. Bald eagles and turkey vultures. We’ve got fox, coyote, raccoons, skunks, rabbits, deer and an occasional mountain lion passes through.
Most of the time we all live in relative harmony and balance. Sure the dogs have had occasional run-ins with the skunks. And we’ve lost a cat to the fox family. And I’m aware that the fox hunts the rabbits and the mice (and sometimes my neighbor’s chickens.) But out here, there seems to be enough space for everyone to exist without encroaching on anyone else’s space.
That is except for the colony of bats that took up residence in our attic. We’ve tried to coexist, but they make a mess and frankly, we’ve had enough. We tried a couple of years ago to put wire netting up where we thought they were getting in. They came back the next year (and brought family, I think) and found new entryways. They leave in the fall and we forget about them. They arrive in the spring and we groan, knowing we’ll have to live with them another summer. We like their mosquito eating tendencies. They are kind of interesting to watch as they leave each evening and swoop around, snatching up bugs.
But we don’t want to share our home with them. So we’ve got a guy coming in today to seal up all but a few entry/exit spots. He’ll create “one-way” doors so they can get out but not back in. He’ll put up a bat house on the back of our hayshed. (I’m not sure how we’ll convince them to move in there – maybe a “no deposit, first month free” deal will entice them?) Hopefully, they’ll decide it is time to head on down to Mexico for the winter, and then find the bat house next spring. (I have visions of fifty angry bats pounding on our windows at dawn tomorrow, screaming for us to let them in.)
I’ll tell them there’s room enough out here for all of us. Just not in our house.