Earlier this spring, as you might recall, I wrote about my lovely tulip bed. The perfect, colorful flowers brought beauty into my life during a global expletive pandemic. Axl Rose warned us, however, that nothin’ lasts forever, not even lovely tulips. Watching the tulips wilt gave me a case of the sads, but I was comforted by the knowledge that they’re perennials and, thus, will return next year.

But that was before something – or someone – romped through the garden, eating several of the tulip bulbs in the process. I’m no horticulturalist, but I believe it’s dern-near impossible for a tulip to bloom without a bulb.

Anyway, a bear has been spotted in the neighborhood and I frequently spy rabbits and birds in one or more of my yards as well. It’s also been brought to my attention that a certain chipmunk could be responsible for snacking on the bulbs. As you might recall, I recently devoted this-here space to a certain chipmunk who has been hanging around like he/she owns the place.

Come to think of it, though, neither the cat army nor I have spied the chipmunk in a few days. I hope the chipmunk hasn’t run into any bears.

In other news, I’ve also been battling gnats and/or fruit flies. I’ve killed at least a half dozen in recent days. That might not seem like many to you, but gnats and/or fruit flies annoy the expletive out of me and turn my stomach. One evening, I became so vigorous in my pursuit of a flying pest that I slapped the eyeglasses off my face.

Random ants also show up occasionally and, as you might recall, I’ve encountered dead mice and a live snake in my garage in recent weeks. This led to the initiation of what I refer to as the steel wool project. An expert in the field of extermination cautioned me that vermin can fit into holes that are equal to or larger in size than a nickel and he advised stuffing those holes with steel wool.

I’ve purchased more supplies, and I’m prepared to resume the steel wool project. I also must admit that this experience has caused me to constantly be on the lookout for nickel-sized holes. So, if we should be engaged in a conversation and if my eyes should wander above your head or to the side of your face, then I’ve probably spied a hole and I’m probably estimating the size of said hole.

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.