Wednesday, June 04, 2008

No, I Didn't Fall Off The Face Of The Earth . . .

It's called changing email services, getting a DSL (instead of a dial up, two strings and tin cans), futzing around with getting this blog site to recognize my new email, having Greg get the time to set up the change mechanism, spending endless time tearing hair out while Blogger kept pretending it didn't know me. Whoooooo RRRRR UUUUU? Next up, changing out my address book, shifting accounts and passwordds, waiting to see what keeps showing up in the in-box so I don't forget anybody.

Oh, then did I mention, having a rebuilt, upgraded computer done and installed, (next week) followed by transfer all the programs (also had to go through the delete and purge a whole lot of crap I don't need or want any more). Plus keeping up with my regular schedule AND making time to go sit in the back yard corner and smell the lavender and worry about why there aren't more bees buzzing around. And think of ways to get rid of the gophers.

Speaking of which, from everyone I've talked to, NOTHING works on gophers. Not the smoke bombs, not the car tail-pipe carbon monoxide tube down the holes ploy, not Jucy Fruit gum sticks down the holes, not traps (unless you buy about a gazillion and put them down each hole and if you miss one, they're too smart and won't get caught again so you're out about $80 -- with traps about $8 apiece), and I refuse to use poison for fear of killing off the dogs, the neighbor's dogs, the neighborhod cats & etc.

So far, here's what I've found that works: Salvias of all kinds, lavender, rock roses, white sage, something called gopher bane (a wierd prehistoric looking plant), lots of various natives, giant Four o'Clocks, Peruvian lillies (so far) and, apparently, geraniums?? I suspect their roots smell/taste bad? Which is why I stuck in some rhubarb. Maybe they'll eat the leaves and die? And with luck, it'll survive and I can have rhubarb bie at the end of this War.

Anyway, those plants have survived, so I'm working on the plan to make my yard so icky -- food wise-- that they'll just go on down the road and eat up somebody else's yard.

Also got some goo that's based on castor oil that you mix with water and can spray on your yard. Dont think I'll go that far, but might mix up a bit of that and pour down fresh holes in hopes that the castor oil will make the gophers think tht maybe it's time to go to France.

Wierdly, for 20++ years never had a gopher in sight. Then suddenly a vast hoard arrived. Maybe when they eat up what they can eat and are left with nothing but awful tasting salvia roots they'll move on.

Well, hopefully will get back to blogging. But then, having all of us take a break has been nice, I suspect.


Ron said...

Welcome back!

Ann wrote:

"Speaking of which, from everyone I've talked to, NOTHING works on gophers."

I hate them so much. When I go out to the garden and see that one of my butternut squash plants, for example, that I've cared for for months has vanished, I think of renting one of these.

It's called the Rodenator, and it shoots a combination of misted propane and air into their tunnels, and then you pull a switch that ignites it all, and creates a "massive underground explosion."

That would work.

Harsh, I know, and PETA can't be down, but for anyone that's watched their tomato plants get yanked underground right before their eyes, they'd understand.

*PG-13 said...

Re: Gophers, prairie dogs, rodents and other infernal ground pests. No, sadly I have no great solutions. The one's suggested so far sound better than most. But what I find curiously intriguing is how easily (and cavalierly) such extermination is being discussed. The Rodenator? Oh my gawd! When The Force fails, there's always technology.

I lived a few years in Boulder, Colorado. Boulder is sometimes described as The People's Republic of Boulder. A liberal, free thought and spiritual mecca. 15 square miles surrounded by reality. Even Boulder had ground hog problems. One of their solutions? Hire a big truck tricked out as a vacuum cleaner and suck them little dogs up and out of their burrows into the truck whereupon they would be moved out-of-town (read: Kansas) where they could presumably spend the rest of their lives living the good groundhog life. (Something akin to The Front Fell Off interview.)

When I was feeling lazy or was otherwise cripp'd up I used take my dogs down to a prairie dog field. Oh man, they loved it so. And I enjoyed watching their aerobic exercise - for hours and hours or until I grew tired watching them - running back and forth and back and forth and back and forth from hill to hill. The prairie dogs chiding them from one end of the field to the other. There was never any chance of my dogs actually catching one. I presume there were probably some health and disease considerations. But my dogs knew when we were heading to the field and they just went bonkers. They loved chasing those prairie dogs. If you've never spent an afternoon watching your dog chase prairie dogs I highly recommend it. I think dog parks and groundhog communities make a good combination.

And of course we owe some of the finest moments in cinema to prairie dogs. Shucks, Bill Murray's career is an ode to groundhogs. Think Carl Spackler in Caddyshack. And Phil Connors in Groundhog Day. (sigh) Two all time greats!

Nope, I think groundhogs are part of the experience. There's something to be learned in how we deal and dance with groundhogs. My guess is following the nuclear holocaust when most of life as we know it has been wiped off the face of the earth. There will still be cockroaches, coyotes and groundhogs. Deal with it.