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This Week’s Catches

22 Jul

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.

Free At Last

8 Apr

When last we joined the confined flying squirrels, they were living in an insect cage:

What a mess!  They thought so, too, for they chewed through the hardware cloth and would crawl between it and the wire mesh, trying to find a way out:

Or attempt a heist, in this case hazelnuts from my aunt.

But yesterday, in addition to being my younger brother’s 50th birthday (Happy Birthday Charlie!) was the first real spring-like day, and a day Jay had off work.  So in the middle of the afternoon I uncovered the sleeping squirrels and removed them from their sleeping sweater:

Transferred them to the blue bird box.  One picks them up by the scruff of the neck. They had significantly chewed the edges of said box so their sweater was used to plug the holes for transport to the woods behind Mom M’s.  Jay thought that would be a good spot as it is predominantly hardwoods.  The gray squirrel population there was reduced somewhat by Daren this winter. (Remember my Christmas present?)  He figured there would be suitable empty holes in trees for housing.

A view of their new home area:

Their box is tied to the sloping pine tree.  Their sweater is on top.  We scattered all the rest of the food we had in stock for them around a 100+ square foot area. And put some in the box, too.

The first flying squirrel to come out is the brave one who always came out first for everything new.  He came out within the first three minutes after the box was up. Ran up the tree and around and around, testing out the numerous holes available.  His coloring is perfect camouflage.

The second squirrel jumped out a few minutes later and immediately ran/glided off and found itself in an old pen.  It easily escaped and scampered off.

The last little squirrel, the one I think is slower than the rest because it is the one which got hit on the head by the mouse trap, refused to come out while I was there.  It seemed to be having a fine time just sniffing and looking.

God speed!

 

What Jay Caught Last Night

27 Dec

Jay has been trying to catch some thing that has been taking bait from traps above the kitchen: apples, raisins, peanut butter, corn. He thought maybe it was a squirrel.

A few weeks ago he caught a flying squirrel in a rat trap.  Since then,  a mouse trap kept being sprung and the bait taken so he put a small live trap up there.

The bait was removed from the live trap and it was sprung.  Next he put a baited mouse trap inside a baited live trap.  Both traps were sprung, and the wood of the

mouse trap chewed.  I got worried that maybe we had rats.  But they do not like heights.

Then, this morning he caught something.  He hung it in the live trap over the wood boiler to warm it out.  Then we moved it to semi-permanent large cage

quarters where it will have to live until spring and warmer weather.

The flying squirrel came out from the bird box filled with a soft sweater to eat walnuts.  We got to pet it.  Which will not happen again, I think.

 

Punishable Offense

17 Jul

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.

Father-Daughter Bonding Time

16 Apr

On a rainy night, collect night crawlers.  Guess how many they got in very few minutes?

No, more.

No, more.

117.

Really.

Recent Nuisance Wildlife Help Requests

16 Apr

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.

Exciting Easter

5 Apr

Up from our beds we arose– before 6AM,  arrived at church about 6.35AM bearing homemade hot cross buns (me), violin (the girl) and helping hands (Jay).  After a wonderful Easter morning service celebrating Jesus’s resurrection,  a hearty breakfast, and clean-up, we headed home.

The Christmas Rose was in full bloom–a Resurrection Rose?

Hawthorne got to go on his walk, Isabelle got to eat her chocolate bunny, we all sat in the sun, and I called Mom and Aunt Janice.

Isabelle found another antler on her walk.  There ensued a replay of deer fighting in the fall:

And I decided on using Lamb O’ Lakes yarn to make an EZ baby sweater for a little someone due in Late September, so I made balls from the skein:

Then off the Mom M’s with yet more batches of homemade rolls and hot cross buns for Easter luncheon. Pre-dinner: shrimp, fancy potted cheese and crackers, wines and hard ciders, candied ginger.  Then: ham, beef from Sir Loin, broccoli salad, Julie’s famous green salad, scalloped potatoes, green bean mushroom casserole, the rolls.

A pause, during which Angela and I visited Mom’s hellebores and tried, she successfully, to craft a couple interesting objects from leftover palm fronds and a book on folding tropical flax leaves from her trip to N. Zealand.

Desserts: coffee, raspberry pie, rhubarb pie, lemon meringue pie, blueberry cobbler, raisin tarts.  Full yet?

Since it was such a nice day, Jay wanted very much to go canoeing down Fall Creek.  So we did.

First, home to change and prepare.  And Angela came with us!  Hurrah!

Angela did not like my paddling style. We only had to drag ourselves off rocks twice.  She was with me in the canoe for the first half, then had a kayak to herself for the second.  Jay and Isabelle were in the canoe for the second part while I drove the truck to meet them. Angela found out that the creek is considered a level II rapids!

Home, finally, to change again into dry clothes.  We all got wet, some much more than others.

Then off again, to H and S’s, where we ate yet again, played games, sat and chatted and had a merry old time.  Until it was time to come home so we could get some sleep before morning came.

But wait, one more event to close the day: the long wait and work of trapping a particularly recalcitrant skunk in an attic finally paid off Easter morning.  The clients left a message in the evening–Jay and Aaron went and retrieved said raccoon.  A male.  He had been in and out of an attic the past nine months, digging himself a large den right into the blown cellulose insulation.  No more.  The bait to which he finally succumbed?  Sardines.

To bed.  Then a phone call at about 11.15 from Isaac saying he was back in the states after a jaunt to Canada with friends.  Good night.

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