Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘moles

Dramatic Improvement

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Yesterday’s snowfall was a dramatic improvement over the first two plowable events we’ve experienced so far this season. Just ten days ago I posted about how yucky it was after receiving rain for a few hours before the storm changed to snow. Trying to plow that mess was a miserable experience.

I’d almost forgotten how good it is to clear dry snow. Last night the Grizzly ATV worked like magic again, plowing away the snow with ease. The snow conditions make a world of difference when it comes to clearing all our driving lanes and selected walking paths.

By the time I was done, instead of coming back into the house tired and frustrated, I was feeling a little giddy with excitement over the perfect conditions. I almost wanted to find something else to clear, but dinner proved to be a more enticing option.

In the middle of yesterday’s falling flakes, Cyndie captured a new shot of the snow slide on the hay shed. I was surprised to see how much of it was still holding together, even though the left side had started coming apart.

Cyndie and Delilah made me jealous after I heard Cyndie’s description of their coming upon an owl while they were walking one of the trails in our woods.

She wasn’t sure about it at first, as the large bird swooped away from them and settled upon a branch overhead. Cyndie guessed it might be a hawk. Then, that telltale rotation of the head gave it away as the owl twisted to look in their direction.

Delilah hadn’t followed the flight with her eyes so was oblivious when the noble hunter chose to perch above them, but Cyndie’s posturing to take the picture was enough to clue her in.

The owl must not be all that wise because Delilah’s rushing toward the tree scared it off, even though the threat was meaningless from down on the ground.

In the low light of dusk, all that showed up in the image was a dark blob up in the branches.

I don’t remember where I read that the presence of owls is an indication of a healthy forest environment, but the idea stuck with me. Many symbolisms about owl sightings align with either good fortune or a bad omen, so we could go either way with that.

I’m choosing to focus on the probability that it is our vibrant, healthy forest that attracted the owl to visit.

With luck, that predator is helping to control our mouse and mole populations.

Having fewer moles ravaging our yard spaces would be a dramatic improvement in the summer season. It always amazes me to find tracks in the snow from mice and moles when the temperatures are cold and the ground frozen solid.

Now I’ll watch for owl-wing feather streaks in the snow, too.

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Written by johnwhays

December 10, 2019 at 7:00 am

First Green

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It feels like our growing plants are kicking into high gear now that snow has melted away. The first bushes to develop a green crown are the raspberries.

The grass is showing signs it will need to be mowed before too long. That is, if it doesn’t all get killed by the army of tunneling vermin whose population appears to have mushroomed exponentially around here. The footing is treacherous at every turn.

It sure would be nice if a natural predator would materialize to control their numbers so we wouldn’t have to do something about it ourselves. We’ve tried ignoring them, but that has proved to be a futile strategy.

I read that stinky castor oil will rid our yard of moles and voles. It said not to apply before it rains. Yeah, like we know when that is going to happen. The most predictable thing about our weather is that it is very unpredictable.

One thing I am confident predicting is, it is going to get very green around here in the near future.

Tree leaves are coming soon. Yahoo!

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Written by johnwhays

April 26, 2019 at 6:00 am

Monday Ponderings

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We opened our home to guests this weekend and were richly rewarded. Once again, we enjoyed evidence of how Wintervale comes alive with the addition of visitors. I, in particular, enjoyed the chance to talk with new acquaintances.

The weather was spectacular. Warm as a summer day, but with the lower angle of sunshine that late September offers. Our maple trees are peaking their color change to fluorescent orange. This time of year, days like this offer a chance to absorb every last possible feature to our core, in hopes it might somehow provide extra ballast for enduring the winter months when they arrive.

On Saturday, I met some folks (and their families) that Cyndie now works with at her (relatively) new job. Sunday, our precious friend, Melissa and her daughters came to spend some time. During their visit, our daughter, Elysa, and her friend, Anne, walked in the door, to our great joy and surprise. Later, I spotted the text message from Elysa, informing us of her plan.

The two days served to re-energize us and provided inspiration to keep after our dream of making Wintervale always be a place that will inspire others. With all the leftover food treats that remain from Cyndie’s bountiful spread, I could use a lot more visitors right now to help keep me from ultimately consuming it all myself.

Today, I get back to work trying to make appreciable progress on at least one of the 4-or-5-various projects I have started that deserve timely attention. If I am lucky enough to have landscapers or fence installers show up, that will be a bonus that determines the immediate priority. If I can’t decide, there is always watering to be done for the new grass seed I put down. That’s an easy way to consume a couple of hours.

DSCN2409eI’ve turned over mole-control to Delilah. She seems to enjoy digging up the spots where they have created tunnels in the lawn. It’s not actually effective, in terms of controlling the population of moles, but it does serve to keep her out of other trouble for a reasonable span of time.

Happy Monday, one and all!

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Written by johnwhays

September 29, 2014 at 6:00 am

Critter Controllers

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IMG_2444eBack in October of last year, when we arrived as new owners of this property and home, we immediately discovered that mice and moles appeared to be all too comfortable here. The mice inspired our energies toward getting a couple of cats as house mates. Mozyr was to be our big mouser, based on his incredibly intelligent and athletic showing-off performance during our visit to the feline rescue shelter.

Pequenita is just a wee little thing, but proved to be quite the go-getter and primary instigator for affection and initiator of conflict.IMG_2445e Neither one of them has left a gift carcass for us, during the time since we brought them home, but we have not seen any evidence of a mouse indoors during that period, either.

They are doing something right for us.

Last fall, the grounds here had an unnerving amount of dirt mounds and trail scars to indicate we had quite an infestation of moles and/or gophers. There are oodles of suggested ways to trap them, poison them, or chase them off. One brilliant method involves eliminating the insects and grub worms under the lawn that the varmints find so appealing. I’m just not up for all of that.

We got a dog.

Up to this point of the summer, we haven’t been seeing any new mounds of dirt, but something is slowly, but surely, tunneling under the grass, leaving a maze of scars in the lawn. I have no idea if Delilah will turn out to be the solution for driving off the moles, but last night, she displayed a fair amount of interest in chasing a scent she picked up when I directed her attention to one of the soft spots trailing across the turf.

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Written by johnwhays

August 16, 2013 at 7:00 am