Thursday, June 26, 2008

Crickets, Scorpions and Cats

Reflections from the Backcounter
Life in the Sonoran desert is rich with opportunity to witness ecology in action. The numerous species present in my backyard at any given time are amazing. We have witnessed rabbits playing and frolicking in the early morning dew, rabbits running for their lives being chased by coyotes, eagles patiently perching on the pool fence watching kangaroo rats struggling to swim in the pool, javelina methodically eating and destroying my rosebushes and of course the invasion of the Chuckwalla into my kitchen.
Attempts to intervene in this fragile ecological balance are always fraught with danger. For example, at one point we decided to hang a bird feeder to give us the opportunity to identify all of the desert birds using our binoculars and bird book. Great spite of the gorgeous collection of bird sightings we logged into our bird journal the ecological shift was not pretty. Picture this... birds chirping and happily feeding on the seed, seeds dropping to the ground, kangaroo rats gathering seed and scurrying off to thier nests. And then the unexpected and undesirable outcome....the snakes lying in wait for the kangaroo rats. We had created an entire predator/prey eco system. So...the feeder went away and balance was restored. Have I mentioned that I hate snakes?
Crickets...Scorpions...Cats.....the perfect food chain

So, yesterday I realized that I was in line for another ecological insult in my yard. We have had an invasion of crickets. Not a big deal until you realize that crickets are the favorite food of scorpions!!! I have had just about enough of the malicious little land lobsters and their venomous stings. To date two of us have had stings and they are nasty. Of course one of the victims was the mother of the crew..(me) and as a result we now have two scorpion predators living in our home (cats) and our scorpion sightings have significantly diminished. Cats actually are immune to the sting of the scorpion.

C.C. Marie.....professional scorpion hunter

I must confess....I called the exterminator yesterday..not green but I am desperate. Even my biology degree does not equip me with any secrets to cricket control although I do admit that I can tell the sex of a cricket. The one useful knowledge crumb gleaned from my days in the biology lab. if I could just figure out cricket birth control I would be in business....Off to the bug wars



1 comment:

Waterrose said...

ohhh..I innocently open your blog page and what greats me is a scorpian.....I shrieked! Ohhh I hate those little, prehistoric monsters. I have also been stung. I have a dog, a brittany and she points them. I can't tell you how many times she has saved me from being stung. I would also love to have a cat, but the dogs would not be happy.