There have been lots of catches this week. Here are some of them.
Lots of frogs were caught over at Dad’s pond. But also caught was this year old painted turtle. It resides in the water barrel here at home now, being fed worms and insects and flies.
It left at least 8 of its friends or family to travel here.
The girl decided she was going to catch this wildish kitten at the cousin’s farm. And she did after two tries. I kept its attention while she snuck up on it. Daddy said we could not bring it home. It is skinny as well as being cute.
He gave her some scratches then howled incredibly miserably when he was first caught.
And seemed glad to be released back to his lair.
At the next cousin’s home some neighbors were exercising their horses in the 25 acre pond. Here the Belgian draft horses are swimming.
One thing the girl has wished for a long time is to ride a swimming horse. She was able to have that dream fulfilled.
The mare really liked to swim and when she had to stop and visit would splash impatiently to get back into the deeper water.
Then of course there was the mess o’fish jay and I caught.
And yesterday I caught this woodchuck who had the temerity to think it was going to live under my front porch. Not for long.
Hawthorne wished he had caught the woodchuck. It was fortunate, though. Jay took it down the road several miles to abandoned fields, where the coyotes might find it for supper.
The blueberries have been getting ripe the past ten days. The Baltimore Orioles have been teaching their fledglings to eat them. We sat one night at supper outside and repeatedly drove them off the bushes. To no avail. I do not really mind. But Jay does.
Yesterday the girl thought a Scarlet Tanager had come–that may explain why the orioles seem to have moved on suddenly.
Two of the four grand squidjums of Banner were also eating lots of blueberries. We live trapped those two and moved them up to the lower end of the hedgerow. Lots of berries and good squirrel food (nut trees) up there. The hedgerow is a tree highway right back to the woods.
What I do mind are the chipmunks. One day while on the phone I saw one run up, harvest and then jump 18 inches down out of a bush and run to its lair. Repeat.
Jay shot it that evening and later unrolled the snow fence to retrieve the body. What he found:
Not just two large, ripe blueberries, oh no,
There were FIVE ripe, large blueberries in his pouches.
That is what Jay considers a punishable offense.
On a rainy night, collect night crawlers. Guess how many they got in very few minutes?
1) A raccoon in an attic. It had been there since October when work was done. They called us in February. The end of February. The coon had dug deep nests for itself into the blown-in cellulose insulation. It actually did have a way out that the clients didn’t remember. Finally was trapped using sardines. A large male. So no worry about babies dying in the attic.
2) 2 woodchucks under a) house foundation and b) outbuilding. Except when Jay went to set the traps the guy informed him that he had not actually seen the woodchucks this year. They were there last year. Oh, and after the woodchuck, a fox had been living under that outbuilding. But Jay eventually did catch one woodchuck that came looking for a place to call home. I predict we will hear from this person again.
3) A red squirrel repeatedly building a nest in a garage. Jay caught a gray squirrel.
4) An animal under a trailer. The man could not tell me what kind. Some servicemen had come to fix a furnace and had said they would not do the job because they thought this animal was under there. The caller was from continental India. Together we finally decided it was a skunk. Jay went and found no evidence of a skunk living under the trailer. It was late March–probably just passing through. Unfortunately on the day the servicemen came. Jay was persistent because the poor man was anxious to get his furnace fixed. Eventually caught a cat. Jay asked him to call the servicemen back and tell them the skunk was gone.
5)And then this afternoon:
“My sister just called! She found a snake curled up in her laundry basket! What should she do? She is afraid it is a Copperhead!”
“They do not live in this state.”
“She is afraid it is a Water Moccasin!”
“They do not live in this state, either. The only poisonous species are two kinds of swamp rattlers. Does she live in a swamp?”
She admitted her sister does not live in a swamp, but on a farm.
So I told her it was probably a milk snake. Now I think it was probably a black rat snake. Either way, if she followed my advice, no problem. Cover the basket, take it outside, and dump the snake and contents out away from the house. Case solved.