Unless my eyes deceive me (and my ears, and [just for the heck of it] my tongue as well), it’s springtime! And what a lovely time!
Spring is a top four season of all time for me; it’s really hard to beat the appeal of warmer weather and the fecund odor of thawing soil after a long (or short) winter. That said, there are some dangers associated with the return of spring, which I want to address here.
You may have noticed it too: A certain je ne sais quoi permeating your abode.
While it’s common for insects to find their ways into homes, along with small rodents and the like, you may be surprised to find out what sort of things are potentially calling your home home. Are you hearing scratches that you can’t place? Are shoots spiraling out from the corners of your room? Is there a small tree in your kitchen? Have deer colonized your pantry?
You may not be entirely sure what’s going on, between the trees and the deer, but most likely, after an arduous winter, nature has decided to set up shop in your home. Still not sure? Then take a look below! What follows is a brief survey that will help you answer the all-important question: “Is my home being reclaimed by nature?”
Under normal circumstances, plants will grow anywhere it’s hospitable for them to do so. Unlike trees (discussed below) flowers require a lot less time to reach maturity. If, say, you spend the weekend on a Netflix/Girl Scout cookie bender, you may emerge from your saccharine and lachrymose haze to find yourself embedded in a bed of violets!
Betty Smith once wrote that a tree grows in Brooklyn, but if you’re not careful you could find one growing in your living room! It doesn’t matter how much you’ve vacuumed your carpet; a seed is sure to find enough in the detritus to grow hale and hearty. Scientists are as of yet unsure whether trees feel resentment, but you may want to be extra careful about any wary tree growth if you have wood floors.
Grass gets its very own category, and I’m not talking about the cute green turf your parents habitually made you shear for the glory of hearth and home. I’m talking about big bluestems, switchgrass, wild ryes and june grasses. You’ll have to call up your great-grandparents and ask for the sodbuster if these babies take root, cause you sure won’t be pulling them out anytime soon.
Don’t let their melodious twittering fool you: Birds are crafty creatures and will contrive any means to get their own sweet corner in your home. While they most commonly can enter a house through an open window or a chimney, they have also been known to sneak in under the cover of night, or while the pizza delivery boy distracts you. They are fairly inhospitable roommates, especially when they start leaving worms in the pantry and figure out how to work the stereo system. You’ll never hear the end of “Birds of a Feather” by the Civil Wars.
Besides the aforementioned deer and mice, there are a few of our warm-blooded cousins who totally want in on your digs. The American bison for instance! Also known as Bison bison! Yes, you may have thought your home was safe from these relicts of the Midwestern prairie, but these wily ungulates have been pulling the wool over our eyes for years. Despite their size, they are masters of disguise. That crack in the wall your landlord refuses to fix? Or that extra table your friend from Montana insisted on bringing despite the fact you didn’t need it, so now it just sits in the corner? It could be a bison.
Remember when Pete Martell found a fish in the percolator on “Twin Peaks?” Turns out that’s not an isolated occurrence. Indeed, if you habitually leave your dishes soaking in the sink, you’re sure to wake up to the sound of minnows and crappies splashing in your drinking glasses soon enough. Muskellunges have been known to live in dishpans, so be cautious and watch your fingers. Same principle with amphibians, except they can cover both land and sea.
That about covers the bases. Right about now, you might be asking, “What can I do to prevent nature from reclaiming my home?” And the simple answer is nothing. In due time, as with all things, nature shall take your home back to earth. So happy spring, homeowners! Nature obsolesces your dominion!