THERE ARE TWO items on today’s agenda.
The first is bats. They have returned to the Hacienda in a goodly but uncertain number, something they do every year about this time.
Must have something to do with the rain’s arrival.
There are a couple of ways to know they’ve returned. One is to be on the veranda downstairs at dusk. It’s their takeoff time. The other sure clue is the pile of bat crap every morning on the floor of their corner of the veranda.
It’s a sizable display.
The first method is fun. The second … not so much. The bat crap must be swept with care and tossed into the yard trash.
I assume that it’s Mexican free-tails that we have. I assume this for two reasons. One is their name. Mexican. And the other is that we are firmly in the middle of their range.
Over the years I’ve had some exciting moments with these bats. One morning, we sat on the veranda with coffee and bagels, and I noticed a bat trapped in the nylon strings of a wind chime.
I donned leather gloves and liberated him. Another time, while cleaning on the veranda, I was surprised to find a couple of the little, brown buggers sleeping peacefully inside a sombrero hanging on the wall.
More recently, just about two years ago, we encountered one hanging from a light fixture in our Downtown Casita. I captured and liberated him too.
I’ve become quite the batman.
I couldn’t understand at first how he got into the casita, but finally I noticed the chimney was a direct route.
I have put wire screen over the top of the chimney. We rent the Downtown Casita to vacationers, and I doubt they would want to awake one morning and see a bat hanging from the bedroom light fixture. That’s where the bat was, in the bedroom.
I like bats, and you should too. They’re an essential element of the ecosystem. They gobble lots of mosquitoes.
* * * *
Let’s move now to the second item on today’s agenda. Teeth. About a month ago I wrote about my first step in getting a tooth implant (A dental case).
After having the problem tooth pulled, the dentist inserted a metal post in my jawbone and covered it with a temporary tooth. It looked quite snazzy.
The next step was a three-month wait till the bone connects with the post. Then the permanent tooth will be applied.
Three weeks later, the temporary tooth fell off. I phoned the dentist down in the capital city, and he said come right over. I did, and he quickly reattached it.
Two weeks more passed. It fell off again. That was yesterday. I still have almost two months more before the permanent tooth can be attached.
A bulb lit over my head.
I phoned the dentist again and asked: Is this thing totally cosmetic, just for looks? Yep, he replied.
See you two months, I countered.
I always wanted to look like a pirate with a snaggletoothed smile. Now I do, and it’s a look I’ll sport till August. The gap is not directly in front, but it’s not hidden way back either. It’s midway, quite apparent when I give a good grin.
One of the joys of retirement is that you can look however the devil you want. I look like a pirate.
Or a Mexican bricklayer.