Monthly Archives: April 2013

Pseudoscorpions in the Paper

This morning I had a pseudoscorpion crawl out of my newspaper and onto my sugar spoon. It’s a gloomy and moody day and I was requiring extra coffee to get my day started.

That surprise visitor did the trick.

pseudoscorpion_0258Tiny and harmless to humans (at least the ones in Vermont are), the little fellow none-the-less surprised me alert.

I transported him (via sugar spoon) to the cellar, where he is sure to enjoy a plethora of cluster flies and other prey.

(Special thanks to WhatsThatBug.com for helping me identify the critter and to Eurospiders.com for the photo.)

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Roofed

When one’s roof tiles suddenly change color, size, and shape, one takes the rest of the day off and has a drink.

One also puts on a hard hat because it is important to be prepared.

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Gardyloo

This morning I was returning from my daily walk in the woods when I heard the distinct call of “Gardyloo” from the house. Naturally, I immediately took cover behind a tree and waited. It appears that Silas was merely tossing a hatful of ladybugs out the window towards the garden.

Gardyloo is an interjection meaning look out. It’s a warning cry that was specifically made popular by the Scottish in Edinburgh to warn pedestrians of slop water being thrown out of windows. If one was traversing the sidewalks of Edinburgh and heard from above “Gardyloo“, one would wisely move away from the potential trajectory of chamber pot refuse and what not raining down upon them.

It is believed that the word originates from the French garde à l’eau which means beware of water.

The word was still notably in use in the 1930s and 40s, when indoor plumbing was still not city-wide. Nowadays, gardyloo is often used as a general cry of warning, a “watch out” or “mind your head” type of holler.

In my house, it can mean so many things, so it behooves one to heed the cry and take cover. Today was ladybugs. Tomorrow could be something not nearly as sweet.

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April Fool’s Day

The origins of this day of pranks are largely unknown. Some theorize that this ersatz holiday evolved from the change to the Gregorian Calendar. Some postulate that the day sprang forth from a collective case of Spring Fever.

It doesn’t matter how it came to be, I’ve never been a fan.

Unfortunately, it seems, this house quite enjoys April Fool’s Day. It has been perpetrating pranks all morning. First, the hallway floor kept tilting ever-so-slightly so that walking from my bedroom to my study was quite a feat of balance. The fire keeps spontaneously sparking and then snuffing itself, and whilst my bacon was cooking on the stove, the cook range decided to turn itself into an enormous metal turnip.

The only person enjoying these escapades is, naturally, my brother Mordecai, who turned up late last night in the midst of rain and wind. Mordecai is quite the merry prankster and each year manages to plot elaborate pranks. I fear that a combined pranking team of Mordecai and this house will extract the limits of my patience.

Bubo, of course, has even less patience for pranks than I do. She left quite early this morning and can only assume she’s halfway up the mountain, napping quietly and undisturbed in a tree. I’m jealous, naturally.

Happy First Day of April, my friends.

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