The Joy of Home Winemaking

Of Juice and Thrips and Ceiling Wax
December 2000

Everything White, December 18

Christmas Bat, December 26

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Everything White
Monday, December 18

We have snow. Lots of snow. We have many inches of snow. It is snowing sideways, upside down and in circles. The piles that Denny shoveled this morning are already 3 feet high. The snowplow crews are plowing constantly.

It isn't as bad as the Halloween blizzard from several years ago by any means, but it's more than we've seen in quite some time.

It's very pretty, and very quiet out, except for the occasional snowplow and the crows. The crows seem to be having contrast contests. "Look at me, I really stand out over on this branch against the white sky!" "Yeah, well, MY plumage is glossier than yours over against this roof, so nyah nyah!" Show offs. Probably actually more irritated at the lack of dead squirrels than anything.

Fall is crow heaven. The squirrels get run over by cars while mindlessly running back and forth across the streets to bury important things like half a tortilla. The crows clean them up. The remaining squirrels fatten up for the winter and don't run in the streets as much. Winter comes and they raid birdfeeders and snuggle in their nests. The crows hate that.

Luckily, humans are slobs and toss fast food leftovers and garbage around in the winter, so the crows manage. I saw one the other day posing with a french-fry in its mouth. Its breath was freezing and it looked like the critter was smoking. I expected it to slap on a beret, grab a girl crow, and go into an apache dance any second.

Well, anyway, it's mostly white out. Still snowing. Oh, look, and there's more snow! Salubrious Solstice to you all! I'll think of you all when I light the candles and think good thoughts.


Christmas Bat
Tuesday, December 26

Had a very nice Solstice and Christmas, hope everyone else did, too. The tree looks like a fat fairy godmother, and a friend sent a beautiful vase of flowers. Lots of cards from lots of friends. Last night I was on the phone talking to my friend Paula, out in California, when Denny came into the room and said "Bat!"

Yes indeed, there was a bat flying around the dining/living room area, ducking under the strings of cards and around the tinsel. I hung up, after excusing myself to Paula, and we dealt with the bat.

We closed off the side rooms and kitchen, opened the front door, letting arctic blasts blow in, and manage to herd the bat into the entryway. I despaired, certain it wouldn't go out. Who in their right mind would? It momentarily crossed my mind that we might catch it and keep it till summer, feeding it meal worms, but I didn't think it would have been a good idea, for us or the bat.

It stopped for a minute on our squirrel banner, and I lunged for it with the towel, only to have it flee out into the freezing dark night, swooping over the white snowbanks. I slammed the door shut before it could change its mind.

I felt sad, because I knew it only had a few minutes to find a warm place to land. Very cold out there, and no insects to eat.

The thing is, one normally has bats in the summer. They hibernate in the winter here. We later decided we had disturbed it going in and out of the attic getting out boxes and putting them back. There might be more up there, but the attic is huge, with lots of nooks and crannies, so who knows?

It was cute, though, with a wing span of about 8 inches, light to medium brown fur, with the typical little squinched up face.

I thought of a story I had written long ago, about a bat who sang supreme soprano, and thought, of course, of the book "Stella Luna".

Alas for the bat. I'm not sure if there's a moral here, or anything, but what the hey. I guess you could say I went to bat for you.

Stay warm and healthy, my friends,


Of Juice and Thrips and Ceiling Wax
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Copyright 2000 by Terry A. Garey.