All's much quieter on the corner tonight than it's been for weeks. I can't hear anything--if they're out there now, I don't know about it. Hurray.
We dragged the ladder out in the yard and found quite a collection of critters: a grasshopper, a butterfly, another snail (they were messing about in the grass when they weren't on the ladder). Then they all got excited about turning my compost. So we turned it, then I remembered I had things to put in it (newspaper and some seriously spent veggies in the fridge crisper, I'm sorry to admit). They actually all helped shred the yellow kale and wilted cabbage--I didn't even want to do that!
They think we've already got more dirt in there than we did last week. I think that is wishful thinking but I'm not arguing too strenuously about it. I'm just happy there's a better chance than there was--given my complete inattention to the compost pile--that perhaps there will be more dirt in there after all.
As it was getting dark, Oldest Brady Boy spotted something big in the less used garden box--it was a bug big enough to move piece of wood chip mulch. I went in and got a flashlight. It turned out to be a big orange beetle. I have to look it up. I think one of the guys squished it in the end, because I found a shmooshed orange thing about the size of a quarter on the sidewalk out back after they went home.
Once they all left, I had a minute to pull down a leaf off my mystery tree and flip through the tree guide. It does seem to be a catalpa, probably a southern catalpa because they say the leaves on a southern catalpa smell unpleasant when you crush them. They didn't say that about the northern catalpa. Northerns are native here, but the southerns are acclimated as far north as Michigan, so I assume we have them, too.
Still quiet. It's so pleasant.