"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Monday, March 20, 2017

Sometimes You're The Windshield

Sometimes you're the bug.


Be still my beating heart.  It's spring!  My favorite time of year.  I've been holding back at the nurseries.  Only planting perennials and bulbs and nothing that will freeze.  

I've shown you the photo of the goldfish pond where gophers dumped their tunnel detritus.  Their tunnels are all under the rocks so I can't lay traps properly.  I can't even move some of the rocks.  Now, big rats have taken over the tunnels.  I caught one, but cookies, peanut butter, gummy bears and cheese don't tempt them. And yes, those rat traps hurt. The bird feeders have all been moved to the edge of the lake.

So, I went to the hardware store and bought clear tubing, so I could see when the water was coming near my guzzle. Who knew siphoning came so fast?  And, you have to suck hard. Yes, you guessed it.  The bacterial, amoebic fecal filled filthy swill went down my throat several times.  I wish I had a picture of me holding the tubing down in the water and over the 8 foot drop trying to drain it.  I got air in it several times and I had to start all over.



To my horror, those little menaces dumped a load of dirt that nearly fills half the goldfish pond.  It would fill a wheelbarrow, which I don't have at the city house.  Aye yay yay.  And those cute little rats watched me the whole time.  This time, I'm the bug.


34 comments:

  1. What a mess. I have lots of feed outside so it draws a few critters, but the cats and dogs keep them down good.

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    1. My weenies would kill them if they could catch them. All the digging makes more of a mess around the area so I have to cover up the tunnels and entrances that I can find. And there are many. Plus, I have to get it done as mosquitos are making their appearance.

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    1. I want to lay down on the ground kicking and screaming like a toddler.

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  3. Oh my. You are a trooper, Donna.
    Hang in there.

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    1. Sigh, Sandra. Did I tell you I am trying to figure out how to get the sprinkler system running and know zero about them?

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  4. I could not deal with this! Do you have a big brother handy?

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    1. No and I don't want to pay people do it. I would if I could find someone I could communicate with and/or that wouldn't charge me an arm and a leg.

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  5. Ewwwww. You're made of stronger stuff than I!

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  6. AWWWW! I've always loved your charming, flowery way with prose!

    My deep empathy with the gopher/rats---were it not for our resident Shed Kitty and whatever imps she's borne out there in the potting shed, we'd have been carried off in our beds by the yard-rats and possums. Proximity to a strip mall with a grocery store AND Chinese restaurant provides an alluring environment for all the critters displaced by the new housing development I'll save a wee being from drowning; I won't grudge too harshly the stale cake and popcorn they scavenge from the birds. But when they invade my space and property---I TAKE STEPS.

    I've never had to siphon a pond, nor much of anything besides a kiddie-pool, but that can't be good for your health. Gallons of gargle, and hopes for well-being.

    Says rachel, who's said before that she has a $50.00 jug of dried coyote pee just for repelling the worst of the pack. (even, it seems, Shed Kitty herself, who uses one secluded flowerbed as her private latrine).

    But anyway---HAPPY SPRING!!!

    r

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    1. Happy spring to you to Rachel. That's the only saving grace. It's rat catching, pond cleaning and trying to figure out how to work the sprinkler system that's going to take me down.

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  7. Ack. On so many levels. Inhaling/drinking that dubious liquid is awful.
    I know that phrase as 'sometimes you are the fire-hydrant, and other times the dog'. Yours is classier.

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    1. It was a song from the 70's or 80's. Can't remember who sang it. You name it, it is in that water. I've been waiting for stomach cramps. So far, so good.

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  8. Ooh Donna, what a blinkin' mess, they have taken over !!
    I wouldn't have my little pond if my husband couldn't take care of it each spring, I can work on the ground cover and plants, but not inside the pond to clean it out.
    I'm keeping my fingers crossed you can figure what to do next....maybe a sump pump next time ?
    Hugs,
    ~Jo

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    1. I'd have to at the goldfish pond at the farm as it is about ten times bigger. When I crawl into it to clean out all the dead leaves/plants, I come out stinking and looking like swamp thing.

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  9. oh gross. I'd have just used a bucket or a pond pump. and rats? real rats? and you call them cute?

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    1. They are kind of a cuter type. Can't explain it. Caught two today. Hooray!

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  10. You had quite a job your pond looks very deep! It must have been awful taking in some of the water.I hope all your efforts will stop those rats! Sarah x

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    1. I caught two today Sarah. These are daytime feeders evidently, and go to bed at night. I counted five so I soldier on. My sister said use the sticky traps, but they are so cruel.

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  11. What a frustrating mess you have there.

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    1. I know Doc and I'm wondering where to put all that muck. If my watering system uses a 0.75A fuse and I can't find one, would a 1A fuse work. I know zero about these things and if Lowe's doesn't have it, it isn't made. This sprinkler system is to be the death of me.

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  12. I take it you do not have a cat at the city house. We have a couple of feral barn cats that turned up at our house one day. They have been there for a couple of years now and keep the rodent population at bay. Our biggest problem have been squirrels that somehow manage to get down the chimney. Came home one time after being gone for a few months to find one curled up on my nice white Italian linens - dead. Had to throw everything out including the bed😫

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    1. Ry, I'm going to close my fireplace flue now. It has been hard to close, so I neglected it. Lots of wasps came through it last summer. No cats at the city house. My weenies love to try and dig them out but make more of a mess than the rats. I just hope that gopher doesn't come back.

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  13. I don't know how you can keep your weenies from digging for the rats. Then you would have to have doggie baths, too. My Fuzzy Pom rolls in anything stinky, dead, or wild smelling that he can find. There have been times when I had to bathe him twice in one day because of that craziness.

    Years ago, we had a different dog that spent most of his time outside. One night I looked out the back door window to see a big rat stealing a dog kibble out of the dog's bowl. The dog (a big gentle collie) was laying just three feet away. I think the big rat was his pet. The rat repeated this several times as the collie just laid right there. The next night we put a couple of kibbles in a big rat trap, brought the collie's food in, and the collie too. My husband got his hand snapped in the rat trap. Much cussing ensued, but he got it set. Later that night we heard the rat shriek and went to look. The kibbles did the trick as bait. The next morning as we disposed of the rat and trap I got a good look at that rat, our Collie's dinner guest. He was very healthy looking. He had that Premium Dog Food Hi Protein glow to his fur. He was big and nicely plump and had smooth pink bottoms of his toes. He was perfectly clean looking, and his face had a kind of Beatrice Potter character look to it. He was kind of cute, in a rattish sort of way. Of course, I would have seen him in a different light had he done the damage that your gophers and rats have done in your yard.

    Your fish pond is going to be so much hard work to get it back to normal. Take care while you are working on it.

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    1. All well said Susie. Trap got me a few times too. I think you've probably noticed the weenie painting on the right sidebar, called rolling in stink. Don't know why they do that. These are cute rats; little rounded ears and short noses. Don't know how else to explain it. Did you know mice sing a song that lasts seven minutes? I am Mother Nature; try not to interfere with nature. We have had raccoons and possums and skunks come to the door at the farm to eat cat food. I love watching the birds eat but they are going to have to eat next to the lake from now on.

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  14. You are a braver woman than I to attempt the syphoning Donna !!!
    I've just noticed lots of holes in the lawn and dic=scarded nut shells .... the squirrels have been digging up their food stores !!! XXXX

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  15. Hopefully no flower bulbs Jacqueline. I once planted red tulips all around the pond at the farm and the deer ate them all. I noticed the squirrels are climbing the pole where I moved the bird feeders to.

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  16. Oh My Goodness !
    Here I stuff the wire type pad down the holes. I had the gardners clean up all the gravel put down heavy screen and threw the garvel back on top . They can't dig down or up.
    He has, not with my yard, flooded the holes and you then know where they come up and killed them. Here you have to stuff the holes with the wire pads or they move right back in.
    Dig around the ponds and put several layers of wire around the pond to keep them from digging through ?
    Have they eaten your bulbs ?

    cheers, parsnip

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  17. Around the little city goldfish pond, there are no bulbs. I think the tunnels must run around the whole neighborhood. I definitely could not put wire down all around that area. I've thought of asking the yard mowers if they would, but I have a hard time communicating with them. I came back to the farm today and it looks like fog with all the range fires. Aye yay yay.

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    1. Possible just put the wire down your tunnels, they might go away from you ? They need dirt to dig.
      Sorry about the fires.... to this day if I smell a fireplace fire or a bar b que I am right back in that car driving down PCH and telling my children if I say run (the fire was coming at us) run and jump in the ocean and swim out

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    2. Gayle, that is terrible. What a scary and traumatic thing. I don't think you really ever get over something like that. I am going to move those rocks and put wire down per your advice. I don't want to have to go through this again. Plus, there are only two sides of the pond where they can dig.

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  18. Jeepers Donna. This is the side of nature that makes my mind turn to thoughts of cement and concrete. Even if it means that 2017 might not have all the natural beauty we (and you) wish for.

    Please do not breathe any more of that stuff! xo

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    1. Yes, there is something to be said about maintenance as opposed to doing it yourself. I swallowed it.

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