It was mind-blowing to leave the snow and bitter cold of NH and wake up less than twenty-four hours later in the sun and heat of Arizona. Even though I was there because my daughter was having major surgery, I enjoyed coffee outside in the morning, careful sunning during the day, and a chance to sit outside in the evening.
I did get several surprises about the area.
At Easter, there were repeated cautions about care in hiding Easter eggs lest children come upon rattlesnakes in the hunt.
A news report warned about swarming bees and showed a traffic sign more than a third covered by a swarm. One of the dogs here, Joe, loves to lie outside, especially in the evening. My son-in- law has a plan should a swarm appear when the dog is out there. Michael will pick Joe up and jump in the pool with him.
This being the desert , there are scorpions. One of my daughter’s friends was bitten by one and had an intense reaction: eyes rolling in head, all sorts of motor disruption. Her husband took her to the ER where they gave her morphine but said if that didn’t work there was only one antidote and it cost $35,000. The friend said, “I think I’m feeling better already .”
There are , of course, coyotes. And in the evening several have been known to stand on the ridge behind the house and howl. One early morning two followed Michael and Mary-Ellen as they walked their dogs. I’d love to see one, but I’d rather not have one following me. But Michael said he would take a coyote over a swarm of bees any day.
In my New Hampshire neighborhood there is a large deer population. One morning while walking , on the sidewalk, three deer raced past me so close they almost knocked me over. You’ll see signs for moose crossing, and once while I was driving one was ambling toward me, but miraculously I stopped, and he merely peered in my windshield. There are bears, but I have yet to see one. And soon it will be black fly season, and they give a nasty little bite, but no emergency treatment required.
Somehow I’d take flies, deer, moose, and bears over bees, rattlesnakes, scorpions, and coyotes. As the other Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home.”
© Dorothy C. Judd
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