Bringing ‘it’ home

I welcomed it most enthusiastically into my home on Nov. 7.

Oh all right, so it was a pickup. No objection (obviously) and I was happy to carry it into the house.

OK, so what is it? A bird’s nest, obviously. Oriole was my first thought till I could find no opening. So it had to be a hummingbird’s, right? Wrong.

Or so my bird authority, Twan Leenders, at the RTPI said. More curiously, he couldn’t begin to identify it.

IT seemed to be created from what I felt were hairs very similar (definitely same color) as my own. Could it be a spider web, Twan asked. Not if it was made by any spider I would have seen. I’d written at least a couple articles on spiders and have since viewed them as friends. (No more squishing a spider, whatever its size but I do remain grateful I don’t live where my daughter lives in Florida. They grow them big down there.)

I did check the internet. Wasp nests certainly look very similar: size and shape. But they’re formed of paper — it’s easy to identify the layers — and this isn’t at all like that.

Well, something went to a great deal of trouble to create something so intricate. I’m supposing it was woven around the branch to which it seems attached: two leaves still stick out of the top. The craftsmanship is unbelievable. For those unable to see the pictures, try to imagine something ovate-shaped, about four inches long and three inches wide, woven (for lack of any other word) from what seems to be countless layers with nothing thicker than a human hair.

No bird then. No spider or wasp as far as anyone yet has guessed. But what then?

IT sat on the island in my kitchen where any and all could hold it, turn it over and admire with curiosity. But what was it?

If from birds it wasn’t, then it has to be some kind of bug.

I went to bed then jumped back up as I pictured my kitchen crawling with little squirming nasty somethings by breakfast time. I didn’t like that idea at all — and placed it in a plastic bowl . . . in the freezer. Besides, I suppose there’s a chance it wants to hibernate so who am I to object?

It comes out when needed now — and goes right back in.

Spookiest part is the freezer.

Regular readers know I’ve had a battle with this confounded thing since the day I got it. My old one positively gave up the ghost so I needed a replacement — fast. (Even faster.) This was the only one on the showroom floor that would fit my space so home it came. I never wanted an ice-maker and definitely never wanted one that makes all the ruckus this one does. There may be great communities of mice already hunkered in beneath. I know the mice did find a good home under the old one but this contraption seems to be able to make enough of a racket even without animal contributions. (Besides, what sensible mouse would want to live with that?)

Now it’s starting spewing ice cubes throughout the freezer: top shelf where they find spaces between the wire brackets and thus fall down to the second shelf, and on, and on. Always accompanied by all the clamor an ice-cube maker can make. Why does anyone want one? (Why, for that matter, have the manufacturers refused to allow us a choice?)

Daily I refill my ice-cube trays when I run cold water for the dog’s bowl. No big deal. I still do it most of the time — and find we somehow prefer those to the machine’s. (Better not to disturb that machine.) Is that what it’s objecting to — my strong aversion?

Well then, let whatever it is hatch in there.

Oh. But what then?

Susan Crossett has lived outside Cassadaga for more than 20 years. A lifetime of writing led to these columns as well as two novels. Her Reason for Being was published in 2008 with Love in Three Acts following in 2014. Information on all the Musings, her books and the author may be found at Susancrossett.com.

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