There is not garbage pick up to each house in every neighborhood here in San Clemente. We are pretty lucky as our street is on the pick up schedule and most weeks they do come by three times to collect trash.
But some streets are not as lucky and folks bring their trash to the corner and the dogs, cats and even some pigs can make a real mess of the bags before the collectors come by. These property owners decided to put up signs to discourage this but as you can see it does not always work. Some places have a wire basket up on stilts at the end of their road and most folks are thoughtful and do put the trash into the container. Other are no so thoughtful and after most weekends you can see all sorts of disgusting items from used diapers to well let’s not go there!!!
We had the gate open while we were doing something and a little chicken happened to stop by for a visit. Not afraid of us and very interested in checking out every nook and cranny, under the beds and even looked like he was going to jump up on the table. After a while the novelty wore off and he found his way out to the porch and back to the neighbor’s yard.
It is normally very peaceful in the mornings when Joe and I take our coffee down to the beach. We are waiting for our first dolphin sighting but they have eluded us so far. But we have seen cows taking a stroll on the beach up near the cliffs.
There are three dogs that protect the street we live on, The alpha dog Café is not as sociable as the other two. Beethoven and Baby Dog (my name for him as he has none that I know of) will sometimes come with me on my walks. That can be a good or bad thing depending upon the other dogs that are out and about.
This picture was taken from an empty lot near our home that overlooks the water. Joe and I bring our coffee many mornings and sit here just enjoying the water. This day the fishermen were dragging in their nets and two of our street dogs were very interested in the catch – or could it have been the birds?
They are working dogs and do an excellent job of informing all the neighborhood if something is not right. I did find that they do not like yellow taxis, have a true hatred for certain cars or maybe a driver who is driving too fast. Caution is necessary as they are not friendly. A friend from San Jacinto dropped by to visit one day while Baby Dog was sitting at our gate – Ken went to pet the dog and was snapped at. Thank goodness his reaction was fast or he would have gotten bit. Because we have been feeding them for some time these two are very friendly towards both Joe and I. As soon as they realize it is us walking the street or disembarking the dreaded yellow taxi, they stop their barking and go about their business. It is good to be accepted!
This rainy season has not been what we had expected. I was told that last year it rained for hours at a time, streets were a mess with mud up to your knees and it continued for four months. Now I am not interested in four months of muddy streets so I am not complaining that we had such a beautiful rainy season. I guess what I want to know is, if we did get all that rain what would the lot next door look like? Right now it has been less than two months from when I first had Jose come in and cut the weeds back. Look at it today!
The vines are climbing up the walls, attaching themselves to the trees in our yard and look more and more like kudzu every day.
We are holding off having Jose back until we are sure the rains have stopped. But we did have a few visitors that came by yesterday just to check it out.
Since moving into this rental we have had droppings, chattering and have seen the flight of the bats. They leave from their daytime home in our ceiling from a gap between the eves and the concrete wall. This happens right at dusk only to return hours later like drunken sailors back from port leave making so much noise that it wakes both Joe and I up. We finally had enough when the droppings in our bedroom became almost a cup each morning and several areas throughout the house required that I walk around the house with the broom and dust pan several times a day. I’m retired and sweeping up bat crap was not part of my retirement deal! Patricia had Serrano come by after dark a few weeks ago to use concrete to block up the hole we saw them leaving from.
It has turned into a real life nightmare. The next night right after dusk the inside of our house became an aviary for bats.
First Joe used a broom to persuade them to leave through the open doors and windows. But after the 10th or so he realized they were just coming back into the house via another route so he just started to whack them. That night neither of us got any sleep, they found a way into and out of the house through our bedroom air conditioning unit or the gap between the walls and the roof. I could hear them shimmying down the curtains and scurrying behind the bed until they could take flight and return to the ceiling beams.
One more night like that and I am not sure what Joe and I will do, I really am at my wits end in knowing how to handle this situation. The landlord came over and stuffed foam into all the gaps between the walls and the roof all around the house as best they could. Joe has killed at least 30 bats over the past week, mostly in our bedroom. It is truly sad to see them being killed because they do so much good against the mosquito population but this past week has been unbelievable. I laughed with the first set flying around the house, after chasing them with brooms, getting them to leave by the door, window or find a gap in the ceiling to get away only to return several hours later and start the process over again the next night we both decided that killing them was in our best interest. I am not sure what health issues bat guano can cause but to wake up each morning to piles of their droppings and cleaning the area several times during the day, both Joe and I were breathing in unhealthy stuff. Here’s an article I found on the net that talks about some of the dangers: http://voices.yahoo.com/the-hidden-danger-bats-leave-behind-guano-108570.html
After one full week we have finally stopped having the bats enter the house each night and there is very little droppings in our bedroom but there still are droppings. We have decided to let it go because we will be moving out within the next week or so. We did get rid of most of them but like Patricia said they are rodents and reproduce like rodents do so the problem will increase. The landlord showed up ready to literally raise the roof to get rid of them but we decided he can do that after we go. I have made special instructions to the painters that all gaps inside and outside of my house require that they fill them with concrete and finish with caulk before the final coat of paint is applied. Between the bats here in Clemente and the geckos in Playas I have seen enough of the local wildlife living in my houses for the time being. Joe wants to get the Bat Signal to shine on the ceiling at bedtime when he will yell out: “To the BatCave, Robin” (that would be me).
Since moving into this rental house we have had seen bats flying out of the one outside post up near the roof line. It has been a battle to sweep up the mess that these critters make on the floors each night when they are leaving and returning to their daylight retreat. Yesterday while Joe and I were on the internet one swooped down from the ceiling and started flying around the room. It soon found a nice hiding place on the curtains at the front of the house and Joe quickly opened the screen and with a broom got him to leave.
Last night another did the same thing and Joe swiped him again with the broom but this time he went flying out the back door. Nature at it’s finest!!! But not IN the house please.