Ah, summer. It has, finally, arrived. I am sitting on my front porch typing with warm southerly winds blowing my semi-dry hair about my head while wearing a light t-shirt with no bra. I set up my table and chairs today, the set that I bought so that Beak could stop by and visit. Sadly, I waited too long, and he died. Cancer. I'll keep the extra chair for his spirit to hang out with me.

The temperature officially broke 70 degrees today, and I was out doing yard work. Of course, because that's what I always do. I wanted to transplant some trees but instead I used up all of my energy on Vole-ville. What is Vole-ville, you ask. It is where the voles live, and it takes up about a third of my back yard. Adso and Medjet were out patrolling before I got started.

 Adso found a big hole to stand guard over. Medjet set up camp by the brush pile, until I got too close with the mower.

The first step in convincing the inhabitants of Vole-ville that the neighborhood wasn't conducive to a good life was to expose it, so I got out my lawnmower and scalped that yard. I filled up the bagger about 13 times, the grass was that thick already. One thing I have to say for the voles, they got rid of the awful grass that was taking over the part of the yard where they built their town hall. If for nothing else, for that they will be encouraged to move instead of eradicated. So out came the mower and down came the grass, exposing all of the holes and tunnels to view.

I bagged up all of the grass and dumped it in my neighbor's garden, he hasn't even begun to work it up for this year because of all the rain we've had. He's usually got about a dozen things planted by now.

Then began the ritual blood sacrifice in the form of Plantskydd. The label made me laugh, it's made from bovine or porcine blood, but they were very emphatic that it was not bloodmeal, and that no animal parts were used in the manufacture of this item. Except for the blood voluntarily given up by the cows and pigs to scare away the voles, etc., of course. It comes in a shaker bag to make the ritual scattering easier, and I had to do ritualistic pacing up and down the mower tracks to make sure the entire area was covered. This song was sent to guide me in the chant.

The best part about today, though? My visor. I've had this thing for over ten years, I wore out the purple one from the set before I started wearing this one, though. Last summer, I thought it was toast. All of those years of sweat and sunshine and laundering and the fabric on the top of the visor had rotted away. But I got an idea, nee, a brilliant idea, and I have given it new life! I replaced the fabric on the top with a piece of jersey, sewing it on was a bitch but I did it, and now I don't have to wear a velcro visor! Isn't it awesome. I might still have the purple one stashed somewhere, so I could fix it up and have two again. I can't find visors with the slide adjustment anymore so I'm left to rehabbing the ones I have. The third one in the package was white but I can't wear it, it doesn't shade because the glare comes up and bounces off of the bottom of the bill. Maybe I can now add a dark fabric, since I have the sewing thing figured out. More likely, though, I will just dye it.

Thus ends the first day of yard work for this season. Chairs were also scrubbed, and the front porch swept for the table. I have ordered an umbrella for it, too, so I can sit out here on weekend mornings. And I have a nice view with my neighbor's empty lot and his redbud tree. 

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Comment by Phyllis on April 9, 2017 at 6:28pm

  • I think the neighborhood cats like Vole-ville. There was some godawful screeching going on and 4 cats were out there.

  • 3 left when I went out but one just looked at me and kept waiting.

  • .
Comment by koshersalaami on April 10, 2017 at 4:26am

Here it's getting warm but there are no leaves on the deciduous trees yet. I don't even see buds.

Comment by Phyllis on April 10, 2017 at 5:23am

Kosh, I wonder if it's the altitude, you're further south than I am, aren't you?

Comment by Birdinhand on April 10, 2017 at 7:08am

Not familiar with this critter. I read that they take over former mole burrows and tunnels, like the hordes of squatters in broken down houses across the nation.

While one can be empathetic to an extent, it's very difficult to tolerate when it mushrooms. I took a drive to Portland last week and was appalled at the vast number of tent villages. They are everywhere as is the garbage strewn about. The result of moving the tent people around according to local reports is that they now are taking over vacant houses.

Between the mental illnesses, and the vast number of people who choose to use opiates, the tent campers and lost souls living in their cars by choice, we're seeing an American landscape that looks and feels to have been taken over by the least productive.

off to work...

Comment by Phyllis on April 10, 2017 at 7:26am

Bird, my reading didn't mention the mole connection beyond the differences to tell them apart. As to the homeless issue, that's above my pay grade.

Comment by marilyn sands on April 10, 2017 at 11:29am

Lucky for you - your cat is on the case!  Good luck!

Comment by Foolish Monkey on April 10, 2017 at 12:40pm

My dogs love those blood granules. It's like candy to them. 

Rodents keep our resident predatory carnivores happy. they get to chase and chase and sniff and eat turds.

the problem can be scary confrontations. Rodents will rear up and get nasty with their sharp little teethys and razor like clawhands.

there are humane traps that actually work. If you get the skunk/possom size it covers the bases. You just don't know what you ll catch.

Throw some aromatic cat food in as lure and one by one catch those fuckers, drive them into the country and let them loose. they'll kill your yard with their holes and tunneling. 

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on April 10, 2017 at 12:50pm

I found this for you, P!

For only $19.95 you can stab the hell out of the little lawn fucker-uppers and not even get your hands dirty!  They then turn into free fertilizer.

Victor Mole Trap-Plunger Type-#0645

http://store.doyourownpestcontrol.com/mole-plunger-trap-0645?gclid=...

Comment by Phyllis on April 10, 2017 at 3:40pm

Marilyn, they are awesome!

Monkey, I'm not going to catch voles and move them. This colony is huge! I'd be at it for years. Plantskydd has a money back guarantee, so fingers crossed. We had an inch of rain today that washed into the tunnels unimpeded, so I hope that helps convince them.

Amy, you're vicious!

Comment by JMac1949 Today on April 11, 2017 at 7:13am

R&L

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