Death in a clay pot

shelves
These shelves are now clean and oiled.

WHILE WE PLOD through mud from June till November, we’re covered with dust from March through May. There’s no perfect world.

Well, maybe November. Neither rain nor dust. It’s a beauty.

The shelves in the veranda had a significant layer of dust this morning when I headed out the door with an old cloth and a spray bottle of 3-in-1 furniture oil.

I started on the far end of what you see in the above photo. First, I removed most of the dust with a stiff brush. Then I returned with the rag and furniture oil. It was looking good as I progressed in this direction.

Finally, I reached the final shelf, the only one to the left of the door, the shelf in the corner directly below the occasional bat roost in the clay roof tiles above.

The bowls were full of cobwebs and other detritus, which I shook over the grass outside. Then I got to the very last bowl. I looked inside and, amid the other crap, noticed a suspicious-looking glob at the bottom. Hmmm, I thought, could it be a bat?

I was not born yesterday.

I walked around back to the Garden Patio to shake the bowl upside down into a trash bin. As I did so, stuff fell out, but nothing substantial, so I looked inside again.

No mistaking it now. There rested a dead bat, stuck to the bowl bottom. This is not the first time I’ve had bat experiences hereabouts in which action was required.

Once a bat became entangled in nylon string of a dangling wind chime. I liberated him. Once I found a bat snoozing in the hanging sombrero of the bottom photo. I tossed him into the grass, leveraged him into a shoe box and freed him that evening from the upstairs terraza. I decided not to look behind that hat anymore, and I haven’t.

On another occasion, I found a bat dangling from a bedroom ceiling-light fixture in the Downtown Casita. I liberated him too and sealed off the chimney where the little bugger had snuck in like an illegal alien from Honduras or Guatemala.

But back to the dead bat stuck in the bowl. I inserted a stick, moved it about a bit, and upended the bowl over the trash bin again. Ker-plop! The bat remains fell out.

I washed the bowl, placed it on the shelf again, and snapped the photo.

Rarely a dull moment.

bowl
This is the very pot where I found the body. The hat is where I once found a sleeping bat.

13 thoughts on “Death in a clay pot

  1. Great minds think alike. We just finished a substantial spring cleaning where we rolled our reclining couch over to see what slipped through the cracks. Quite a few cashews, my wife’s lost lip balm, a pen, some hair clips, a nail file and, thankfully, no bat. We get those at our cabin in the summer. It’s hard to keep the little buggers out even though I’ve chinked the logs from the outside with foam rope. My wife puts the covers over her head and it’s up to me to open the doors and chase them out. In the city my job is to scare the pigeons, crows and seagulls off our balcony. They make quite a mess. Unfortunately, their populations keep going up as there are crazy people who dump bags of bread crusts and seeds on a daily basis. (Insert expletive here !)

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    1. Brent: We’ve never had any beastie inside the house, just outside where they belong.

      As for pigeons, which are pure vermin, we’ve got far more of them on the big plaza downtown than we had years ago. And we often spot nincompoops feeding them. My wife and I wrote a letter to the mayor after he was elected the first time a few years ago, asking him to put up signs on the plaza discouraging that. He ignored us, and the pigeon population continues to grow, and the nincompoops continue to feed them, making them feel quite at home. They take up residence in the huge attics of the ancient buildings on the square, making a nasty mess.

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      1. Didn’t you just write that you once had a bat inside your downtown casita? Doesn’t that count as “indoors?”

        Inquiring minds want to know.

        Saludos,

        Kim G
        Ajijic, Jalisco
        Where tons of insects get inside, alive to boot.

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        1. Kim: It does indeed classify as indoors, but I meant indoors here where we live, the Hacienda. While my wife would not be happy on finding a bat inside our own house, if she encountered a rat, she would take off screaming toward Mexico City in a heartbeat.

          Oddly, we’ve spotted rats in the yard quite a few times but never a mouse, not even one. When I/we lived the 2.5 years in a rental near downtown before building the Hacienda, we were plagued with mice quite often. Not fun.

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  2. Being a bat aficionado, this breaks my heart. Little fella fell in and couldn’t gain enough purchase to get out. It is good of you, Felipe, to help them when you know they need help. Bats are our friends. Your lovely veranda is what draws them there 🙂 R.I.P., Little Bat.

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    1. Leisa: Yep, that’s what I figured happened too. Due to the shape of the bowl, I don’t think he had any way to escape. Wish I had heard him. Bats are our friends, and R.I.P. indeed. I have moved that bowl from the very corner, which is directly under where they tend to congregate above.

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  3. We have signs in the parks and on the beach saying not to feed the birds but the nincompoops ignore them just like they ignore the no-smoking signs. We seem to have become a lawless society. When there are no consequences to uncivil behaviour it just encourages more of the same.

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  4. My bats appear to be immortal. Though, I suspect there is a far more rational explanation for the mystery of an Agatha Christie body found in the library — or a clay pot. Occam’s Razor, you know.

    I have two utility alcoves in the front portion of the house and two areas in the patio (the pool bathroom and the entry to the bodega) where bats hang out in the early evening. I do not know where they usually roost because they are not there as the night progresses. Perhaps my patio is a bat McDonald’s. Plenty of mosquitoes and a pool for the occasional big gulp. The amount of droppings indicate they are quite well-fed.

    They must do their roosting and dying in some unknown place. Right next to the legendary elephant’s graveyard. But I am happy to have them here for their brief visits. They amuse me. Plus they eat the mosquitoes I do not inadvertently swallow.

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