We haven’t had many visitors of the upright, two-footed variety this year, but when a swallow flew in this morning Ray reminded me how many other creatures come to call. It’s not unusual to have birds fly through the open street window, circle once or twice, and exit the terrace door. Occasionally a bat will do the same. Sometimes they stay awhile, and when this happens we open all the windows and retreat downstairs. I like birds and bats, but I don’t want to share living space with them.

A few days ago Ray moved a scorpion from inside to outside and I frightened a snake on the doorstep. We regularly share space with lizards, beetles, giant spiders and little ones, wasps, bees, dragonflies, butterflies, moths, and—my favorite—the Convolvulus Hawkmoth. These look and act like tiny hummingbirds, feeding at the terrace petunias with a four-inch-long probiscus they roll up when not in use. When all this life isn’t enough to entertain us we hike up the hill and pet the donkeys, or carry carrots to the several horses in the neighborhood.

Being creatures of the word we often find ourselves talking to our visitors, but unlike the two-footed kind, these never talk back. They just hum flit crawl fly, and silently remind us how rich our environment here is, and how peaceful.