Census update

Another effort from Pyramid Lake this week, since the lake is a place that beckons loudly to us Spanish Springoids when the temperature hits 95 or more. Right now, a classic Pyramid dusk is underway, featuring cloudless skies and a warm, steady sirocco from the West. In fact, it seems the sirocco is picking up a bit, since it just blew over my camp chair and its sidekick, the little camp table. Unfortunately, the wine goblet had been stuffed in one of the table’s drink holders, and its shirazzy contents are now soaking the desert a deep, rich purple.

This insistent breeze is now going to work on the awning of my trailer, the shade-making accessory that runs a length of almost 20 feet, and doggone it, it appears that this darn zephyr is getting the upper hand. The awning’s two support arms are both beginning to wobble … now shaking violently … and now cracking audibly over the persistent howl of the wind. And, now, in a truly melodramatic finale, both arms buckle completely, resulting in the full, outstretched awning crashing dangerously to the ground outside the trailer’s front door.

So, there you go. Pyramid in its summer glory. Damn. Knew I shoulda reeled that baby in. I need to make a note here: “awning vulnerable at wind speeds over 4.” Anyway, the reason I’m back out here at the lake is that I wanted to do a follow-up to last week’s “Scorpion census” column. If you saw that one, you’ll recall that all those scorpions I spotted were in the shrub zone of Pyramid, and I thought it might be interesting to go have a look at the beach itself, where no bushes or shrubs exist to provide any kind of cover for these pincer-packing party poopers.

And indeed, a thorough search of the beach area with the blacklight flashlight revealed no scorps. Zero. Back up in the shrub zone, 10 of the surly little buggers were spotted in five minutes. Back down on the open sand, close to the water, nothing. So there you go. Next time you’re about to conk out during that full moon quasi-Dionysian Pyramid or Lahontan beach party, hit the sand as close to the waterline as possible. There, you’ll be able to drool the night away in peace, until the sun begins baking your face at about 6:15 a.m.

And Mom and Dad, if the kids want to roll out the bags and sleep under those gauzy splotches of The Milky Way, just get ’em down there by the lake, away from all vegetation. Then, pour yourself a nightcap to ensure you won’t wake up with a start at three in the morning, fretting about this column.

Oh, one more thing. Make sure the kids shake out their shoes and clothes in the morning. I say this because of the memorable tale of the gal who woke up the morning after a night of carefree behavior, only to find one of our little eight-legged heroes curled up in the bottom of her panties. Lucky for her, it fell out on to the sand while she was preparing the garment for entry. Very lucky.