Photographic Evidence

We knew we had a packrat here from the first day.

Well, second day, really. Since our actual first day involved the drive from hell, parking the U-Haul in the driveway, going to the closing from hell, cooking a frozen pizza and unloading enough of the U-Haul to find our bed and then crashing in it.

So, it was really the second day that David rounded the corner to see a pack rat cheerfully trotting up the U-Haul ramp to see what goodies we might have for him. The sight of David threw him into a frenzy, of course, and he bolted for the nearby desert shrubbery.

But we didn’t give it much thought.

Until David notifed the garbage pen was filling up with dead chunks of cholla.

“I thought the woman was trying to booby trap me with cactus!” he says to me.

“What?” (And, yes, this is really how he talks to me.)

“In the garbage. I wondered what you were doing, sticking all that dead cholla in there for me to trip over.”

“I haven’t been putting any cholla in there!”

“I know that now — it’s the pack rat.”


Now, we won’t say anything about David assuming that I would just randomly pile cactus pieces around the garbage cans. Or that he, probably grumpily cursing my name, which he now has to make up to me with all kinds of sweetness to balance the relationship karma again, bagged up all the cholla so I didn’t get a good picture of the incipient nest. David figured it out the next day, when there were a couple of new, carefully placed pieces of dead cholla, as seen here. Apparently David decided that even I, in my random garbage pen activities, wouldn’t do this kind of thing.

So he put the new wildlife camera in the garbage pen. It’s one of those infrared cameras, that’s motion sensitive. David’s been hopeful of snapping the coyotes, bobcats or screen-surveying mountain lions, but so far all he’s caught are birds and our own domestic wildlife, like the top pic of Isabel.

I did helpfully put up my purple lizard beanie-doll in front of the camera when he went to the store, since David was so disappointed not to have any good animal pics yet. The photo was hysterical, but he deleted it. He assures me that his deleting it is not an editorial comment and that he does still think I’m funny after all these years. He even offered to redo the photo, so I could post it here, but I thought the spontaneity would be lacking and you’d all notice it was staged.

Alas.

Anyway, as you can see, he got a photo of the rat. Several in fact. Here’s a close-up.

Not a real pack rat, after all. In one of the pics, which is quite blurry, so I won’t bother putting it here, you can see an incriminating chunk of dead cholla in his mouth.

I am vindicated.

But contemplating filling the garbage pen with purple lizard beanie dolls…

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