All Night Diner

Posted by Jane N on

When I am at the cabin by myself I often leave a light on overnight. I know at my age I shouldn't be afraid of the dark, but at the cabin, there are all sorts of things that go “bump in the night” and with a light on at least I have a chance to see whatever it is making the “bump”. This last trip up it was hot and humid at night so I left one of the windows facing the lake open, which happened to be next to the light I left on overnight. Yeah you know what happened, I woke up to the screen full of bugs and moths attracted to the light left on. Yuck!

While eating breakfast I made the mental note NOT to do that again! When suddenly a Chickadee flys onto the screen and holds on with it's tiny feet then plucks a moth off the screen. It flys off then a second Chickadee does the same thing. I watched out the window to see where they were flying to and saw that they were gong into the bird box near the waters edge. They must have babies in there! Cool! Those bird boxes have been there for years and never been used before, now it looked like I am hosting a Chickadee family.

After breakfast I, went down to the waters edge carefully and as I approached the bird box I could hear the young squawking. I thought about getting the camera and taking some pictures but decided not to disturb the birds. I went to get the kayak out from under the cabin for my morning paddle when I noticed a pile of translucent wings laying on the ground. I heard a Chickadee in the tree above me and watched as it took a moth and plucked the wings off then flew into the bird box. Being the crazy bird lady that I am I say to the Chickadee “ hey that’s not good manors, you don't just throw on the ground the food you don't want” “ I'm the one that left the light on and provided you with all those yummy moths and bugs” But hey I suppose moth wings would be a bit dry and hard to swallow with out some thing to wash it down.

So that night I decided to leave the window open and the light on again. I thought about it, maybe the light will draw in the delicate green Luna Moth or the boldly marked Ceracopea Moth. I haven't seen either of those huge beautiful moths in a long time. And since both of those moths are larger than a Chickadee I wasn't worried the bird would eat them. I went to bed thinking the Chickadees would have a buffet of moths and bugs available for them in the morning to feed their young and I could watch the show at breakfast time.

I awoke during the night for the usual pee intermission when I heard a strange fluttering coming from the window left open. I thought “Oh cool maybe it is the Luna or Ceracopea” I walked over to the window carefully to see what was there when I noticed it was a BAT! Ahhh!! I should have known! Day time birds aren't the only creatures that dine on moths and bugs. Here it is 2am and I'm yelling at this bat clinging to the screen “ You get away from there those bugs aren't for you! Those are dinner for the Chickadee family”.

Poor bats are stereo typed, they are considered evil or wicked just because they are covered in black and creep around at night. But hey they are just another of Gods creatures trying to survive. They do some good, they eat a lot of bugs that would otherwise be dinning on us around the campfire. I thought of that just as I was about to swing the broom at the screen to scare away the bat. Well actually what stopped me was the thought that it was just as likely that if I hit the screen to scare the bat that the screen would fall out of the window and the bat could fly into the cabin! I didn't sleep well that night.

You know you are never to old to learn a life lesson. I learned that if you plan to run an all night Diner with an electric light proclaiming OPEN then you can't complain about the clientele you draw in.

Still gonna sleep with the light on, Jane

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