Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Critters

I know I'm supposed to be slightly more comfortable than I am about the critters who live alongside me and I understand that they were here first and that we all need to live in harmony but they're starting to piss me off...big time. I now plant lots of geraniums because they're a form of poison and therefore unappealing to the average ground squirrel or rabbit. What I don't plant is anything that I really, really want to plant. It's trial and error, of course, since I don't have a flippin' clue what ground squirrels eat; thus far it just seems to be anything I'm really crazy about. I thought I was safe with portulaca (moss rose), but they love it. I've stood pot upon pot, trying to get them out of the greedy reach of the little bastards, but it's still not high enough. Ground squirrels look benign enough. They are even actually fed by certain groups of morons who think that native, wild animals need feeding. I would like to send this group all my ground squirrels and show the pure goodness of my heart and my completely generous nature.

So we bought a pellet gun to take care of certain of the problem animals, but we can't use it. Not because of laws but because it just makes us feel sick to kill an animal. Even though we quite happily eat animals, we just don't feel good about killing them and then not eating them. So there you solution in sight...yet. I hear rumblings about dried coyote blood scattered along the periphery of one's property. That seems wrong, too. Does a coyote have to die to keep the rabbits and ground squirrels away? The coyote is the natural predator of these smaller animals so why don't I just let nature take its course? Because it's TOO FLIPPIN' SLOW, that's why.

So, we're going to buy some traps.
That's our answer. Some friendly traps where we can trap and release. It won't work for the ground squirrels. There are just too damn many of them, and I'll focus on just trying to outfox them...a laughable goal, to be sure. It should help with the rabbit population explosion. I'm not quite sure where we'll take them. Offhand, I'm thinking Beverly Hills or Bel Aire.

Saturday night my daughter and son-in-law saw a bobcat.
That's pretty exciting. They're considered shy and reclusive, but this one seemed completely comfortable wandering past the house. Matt saw a form moving past one of the windows and turned on the outside lights and they had a perfect view as it ambled along. Unfortunately, it didn't have a rabbit in its mouth.

And then Himself saw this critter...just hanging out on the back patio area. This was a first sighting for us and I'm hoping we don't see too many more.

It's a scorpion and while it looks lethal, its sting is not much worse than a beesting. It would bother me a lot more though due to its absolute ugliness factor. The black widows (which I've harped on before) are always going to be here, we just need to do our best to reduce any obviously comfy spots near the house. Two weeks ago I found several nested under the eaves and near the exterior doors. Not good and they were promptly dispatched to a better place (ahem...for the believers among us).

Now it's all out warfare against the Argentinian ants. They've taken over California and are as annoying a little pest as anything I've ever seen. Scouts are sent out on reconnaisance missions and if they find something worthy, they call in the troops. Within seconds, there are MILLIONS. Thus far we've avoided the exterminator route for ecological and financial reasons, but I'm thinking it's only a matter of time.


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