Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Warmth Returns to Little Rhody


The opening photo is from last year. It is a picture I took of the waterfall in the pond at Chez Sarge. You might notice that the pond is just starting to fill. It would be a while before we reached capacity. Filling the pond with a couple of garden hoses takes a couple of hours or thereabouts.

Before you ask, no, I don't have a picture from this year, but I do actually have a video from this year, made the very day we cleaned the pond. Here it is, pay close attention to the sound of the waterfall, it is a key element for later in this post. (That's what you call "foreshadowing" - in it's most primitive form.)

Oh, you can ignore the trafdlo* in the background making random, and obvious comments. Don't know where he came from...


Anyhoo.

As the title states, warn weather is upon us here in The Ocean State, aka Little Rhody, aka The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (no, seriously, that's the official name of the state). Spring has sprung, the daffodils are blooming and it's light jacket (or no jacket) weather here on the shores of Narragansett Bay.

Easter Sunday was particularly nice, temperatures in the low 80s with nary any humidity to speak of. So that very night I was bound and determined to sleep with the bedroom window open. Which would serve a twofold purpose: firstly it would provide a cool and airy environment for my nocturnal slumbering activities and secondly it would give the feline staff something to do when they got bored. Which they inevitably do when I'm trying to sleep.

To wit.

"Meow..." [Paw tap to the face.]

"No, it's not time to get up." [Rolling away from the feline and pretending to sleep.]

[Walking over me to the other side where I just turned...] "Meow?" [Followed by loud purring and much head butting.]

"Seriously, it's not time to get up..."

"MEOW" [Aggressive paw tapping with just a hint of claw.]

Now, if the window is open, the kitties will ignore Yours Truly and jump up into the window to survey the outside world. Most of the time.

So Sunday night I was prepared for some serious sleep activity.

Five minutes after I went to bed, it started raining. Of course, as my window faces west, that's where the rain was coming from. The prevailing wind at Chez Sarge is from the southwest. When it rains, that prevailing wind tends to increase by a knot or two. While I don't know the meteorological reasons for that, I do know that the rain will come into the bedroom. Soaking the small chair and the adjacent floor under the window. And I do mean soak, it's happened before and will, no doubt, happen again.

So I was disappointed in my slumbering endeavors and was forced to close the window. The feline staff were not happy about the closed window. They wanted it open, rain or not. So they spent most of the night poking me and inquiring as to whether or not it was time to eat. Or play. Or simply to pay attention to them. (While I say "them," it's actually just Sasha, the Alpha Cat, Anya tends to go off by herself and sleep. She is the only creature in the house who gets a good night's sleep.)

So after that debacle, I was looking forward to Monday night. No rain was forecast and I anticipated a long restful night of sleep under the cool air wafting in from Narragansett Bay.

Now about that waterfall...

I am a fellow of a certain age. 'Tis an age where Nature has decided that the male of the species must get up and "make water" multiple times a night. (Don't panic, my Doc has checked the equipment and all is well, I could write a book about the Huang He. Yes, my pen name would be I. P. Freely. I have always had a wee bladder. Pun intended.)

So guess what the sound of the waterfall induces in someone with the bladder of a small mammal? Yes, it did just that.

Now I have never had problems with that phenomenon before, it was a convergence of circumstances which led to me wearing a path in the floor boards between bed and bath. For years I have slept with the window open to listen to the sound of the waterfall and never felt compelled to "get up and go" every five minutes.

Now Monday night when I got home from work I decided to have a simple repast of a bagel and a cuppa. Decaf mind you, it wasn't caffeine keeping me up and about all night. But I had forgotten that even decaf coffee acts as a diuretic upon Yours Truly. Not always but sometimes.

Monday night was one of those times.

Let me tell you, it was a long night. While I did get plenty of exercise, sleep was fitful and sporadic at best. Even Sasha began to get annoyed with me. Until about four in the ante meridian when I fell into a most delicious and deep sleep. Good old REM sleep.

But it wasn't in a dream where I took a gentle paw to the chin, beckoning me to awaken and perhaps entertain the cat. No, it was the real deal.

"Meow..." [Paw tap to the face.]

"No, it's not time to get up." [Rolling away from the feline and pretending to sleep.]

[Walking over me to the other side where I just turned...] "Meow?" [Followed by loud purring and much head butting.]

"Seriously, it's not time to get up..."

"MEOW" [Aggressive paw tapping with just a hint of claw.]

"Okay, okay, I'll get up. I have to go to the bathroom anyway."

While Monday night was indeed long, Tuesday at work was even longer.

Couldn't sleep there either.




Update: So of course the temps dropped into the high 30s overnight. so much for the warmth returning...



* You have to read that backwards. It's a kewl thing I picked up from Shaun. He started it with that whole koobecaF business, and then there's this.

16 comments:

  1. We have a much smaller pond, and no fish because we got tired of running a free snack zone for the local wildlife.

    Many years ago when I was still in high school we were dogsitting while friends were on vacation and as near as we could tell the dog had decided not to pee until she was back in her own home. During dinner we discussed the problem and my grandfather suggested that I run the outdoor hose connection while the dog was near it. I decided it was worth a try so I took the dog outside and tried it. She did not pee and I went inside to report the results. My grandfather asked if the dog peed and before I could answer my slightly younger sister weighed in with the comment, "No, but my brother did". It was a great comment.

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    1. Yes, we've lost a lot of fish over the year as the local waterfowl seem to think of our pond as a good place to stop and get food.

      Great story about the dog.

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  2. I note that you also have a commemoration of Brussels by the pond. As they say in your neck of the woods, "Wicked pissah!"

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    1. My wife saw that in a shop, she'd been amused by the one in Brussels, so yes, we have that going for us.

      Of course the one in Brussels is a LOT older. (1618 or 1619 thereabouts.)

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  3. 0500, give or take an hour, seems to be prime time for the cats to tell me it is time to wake up. Relentless they are. Often I have to close the bedroom door to them to get a good nights sleep, they don't seem to really mind as long as I let them in by 0600 or so. Our days of low humidity are coming to a close. Sub-50 dew point will soon be a memory.

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    1. That seems to be spot on. They get slightly confused by the whole "spring ahead, fall back" thing but they adjust fairly quickly.

      I used to close the bedroom door, but Sasha will sit there and scratch at it. She's relentless.

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  4. Sebastian had finally adjusted to my sleep pattern when I totally screwed up the domestic situation.
    In fact, some mornings, if he stayed in all night, he would stay in bed later than I.

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    1. Our German cats adjusted rather quickly to our sleep patterns. Especially on weekends.

      The cats we have now? Not so much.

      Not sure if it makes any difference, but the German kitties were male, the current feline staff are female.

      There are some significant behavioral differences between male and female cats. Some are very interesting.

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  5. Fun post, as usual; although a bit draining. Please do not take naps while driving to or from work ( or anywhere else ).

    Paul L. Quandt

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  6. Is it just me or do the fish look a bit nervous?

    That's a nice sound, and one you don't hear a lot in this part of the country.

    I was a clever-bones one day back in third grade and signed my homework Nuahs Nostreve. Mrs. Serboucek marked my down for improper word order and improper capitalization. She was tough!

    We've got weather moving in today and may have snow tomorrow night. It's cool having four seasons, but sometimes you get 'em all in the course of a week. Which keeps it interesting.

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    1. At least she didn't flunk you. Sister Mary Elephant wouldn't have been so kind (and she'd add a knuckle rap for insolence).

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    2. Shaun - Those fish are rather nervous Nellies and have been since we got them last year. All of the old fish we had had for a few years died from disease (the koi) and the survivors were predated by migratory waterfowl out of season. As in, they were gobbled up in the summer when we least expected it. We had had problems in the past with the waterfowl in the fall when they were migrating. Then last summer one of them decided that fishing in our pond was a lot easier than fishing in the bay. Which it is. (Normally we put a net over the pond from fall until spring, not sure what we're going to do this year.)

      Another thing to factor in is that before we cleaned the pond the water was very murky and algae-filled. The day of the video was the first time those little guys had seen daylight since about November. They're still getting used to that pond as well. We got them when they were very small late last summer. So I think they're still getting acclimatized.

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    3. Juvat - I'm thinking a knuckle rap from Sister Mary Elephant was nothing to scoff at. Even we Protestants are wary of nuns with rulers.

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  7. So, like you leave the pump plugged in all winter and you can tell when Spring is here by the sound of thawing water?
    We had a koi years ago in a large tank in the "den". He lived in there for about twelve years, Go figure.

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    1. We pull the pump out in November. It doesn't like to freeze and it costs a lot of money, so during the winter we have a unit which bubbles in the pond, keeps the water aerated. Doesn't keep it clean though.

      Some varieties of koi can live up to 200 years. No, seriously, I read it on the Internet. :)

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