Thursday, May 1, 2008

Last Night's Desert Adventures

Oh what adventures I had last night! Before getting -- at last -- the Internet at home here in the Chihuahuan Desert, I wasn't up late night much anymore, despite being a long time night owl. Not a lot to do in the dark, lol. However, last night, since I have satellite and a generator, I was able to return to my standard routine of getting a few hours work done after the kids settled for the night.

So, there I was, sitting in the doorway of my currently humble abode, in the glow of my laptop screen, doing some research for an article I'll be writing today (about new attempts to regulate payday loans). I heard rustling in the bushes nearby. Focused on my work, I sort of just mentally registered it. I heard it again and then again. I looked up and saw a set of glowing red eyes. I have 5 Great Danes, so at first it didn't set off the alert system in my head... Then it registered -- those eyes are not in the right spot to be my dogs!!!

Coyote!! Sneaking in so quietly to steal dog food that my boys and girls didn't even wake up. I wouldn't necessarily have a problem with that, except for the fact that one of my dogs and two of my sister's have come home with significant mysterious injuries. I suspect the coyotes, though my brother did have a mountain lion cross right in front of his car while he was getting water the other day.

So, I quietly -- as to not wake up the baby and end my work time -- scared him off and returned to my work. A little while passed and then I heard crunching. I looked up and there he was, just 15 feet from where I was sitting, munching some dog food that my daughter spilled while feeding ours. About the size of a small German Shepard, this coyote has clearly been pretty successful with his scavenging, as he wasn't overly lean. Nor is he particularly afraid of people. He didn't back up too much when I started shouting at him. My sister heard me yelling at him and came running with her flashlight and chased him a ways back.

With that over, I continued with my work, with moths and odd whistling beetle type bugs dive bombing the glowing screen and the night time cleanup crew -- ants, etc. -- working around me in the desert sand. I was very focused on a very interesting article that compared the interest rates of the short term payday loans with the overdraft fees of banks (you know the ones, you use your card for a purchase, and instead of refusing if there isn't enough to cover, the bank extends you the "courtesy" of making up the difference and charging you a hefty fee. I've paid $28 for 7 cents and $32 for a dime. Those bastards! I'd prefer to be denied, but they refuse to do that, too much money to be made). The rates of banks are FAR more abusive than those of payday loans when you run the numbers.

Anyhow... I was intently focused on the article I was reading. And then I saw it. Fighting back a surge of pure panic, my arachnophobic self watched a tarantula just a shade smaller than my computer's mouse crawl across my computer screen. As I deep breathed through the horror of seeing the biggest spider I have ever seen in my life, it walked across my screen and then off of my laptop and out into the desert.

My work was done for the night.

1 comment:

Tracy said...

Cool! Sounds like great fun. Wish I were there.
BTW, what kinda' genny didja get?