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BS: Varmints

Steve Shaw 11 Aug 22 - 08:13 PM
keberoxu 11 Aug 22 - 08:01 PM
Senoufou 04 Aug 22 - 02:28 AM
keberoxu 03 Aug 22 - 08:56 PM
keberoxu 30 Jul 22 - 07:10 PM
Jon Freeman 17 Jul 22 - 07:25 AM
keberoxu 16 Jul 22 - 12:21 PM
Steve Shaw 16 Jul 22 - 05:28 AM
Senoufou 16 Jul 22 - 02:18 AM
keberoxu 14 Jul 22 - 08:20 PM
Senoufou 14 Jul 22 - 03:21 AM
keberoxu 12 Jul 22 - 08:44 AM
keberoxu 10 Jul 22 - 05:02 PM
Senoufou 17 Jun 22 - 01:57 AM
keberoxu 16 Jun 22 - 06:45 PM
Senoufou 12 Jun 22 - 01:47 AM
keberoxu 11 Jun 22 - 05:33 PM
keberoxu 11 Jun 22 - 05:22 PM
Donuel 11 Jun 22 - 03:26 PM
Senoufou 11 Jun 22 - 03:06 PM
Senoufou 07 Jun 22 - 06:08 AM
Jon Freeman 07 Jun 22 - 05:18 AM
Senoufou 07 Jun 22 - 02:02 AM
Donuel 05 Jun 22 - 04:18 PM
Senoufou 05 Jun 22 - 02:16 AM
keberoxu 03 Jun 22 - 12:13 AM
keberoxu 24 Apr 22 - 03:13 PM
Mrrzy 23 Apr 22 - 04:20 PM
Senoufou 22 Apr 22 - 01:21 AM
keberoxu 21 Apr 22 - 08:58 PM
Donuel 31 Aug 21 - 07:31 AM
Senoufou 31 Aug 21 - 02:57 AM
keberoxu 30 Aug 21 - 10:09 PM
Donuel 30 Aug 21 - 09:15 AM
keberoxu 27 Aug 21 - 12:23 PM
Senoufou 27 Aug 21 - 03:40 AM
keberoxu 26 Aug 21 - 09:07 PM
keberoxu 30 Jul 21 - 01:45 PM
Donuel 25 Jul 21 - 06:25 PM
Senoufou 23 Jul 21 - 06:00 AM
Senoufou 23 Jul 21 - 05:50 AM
keberoxu 21 Jul 21 - 03:44 PM
Donuel 20 Jul 21 - 01:13 PM
Jos 20 Jul 21 - 12:36 PM
keberoxu 20 Jul 21 - 10:55 AM
Jos 20 Jul 21 - 03:21 AM
keberoxu 19 Jul 21 - 10:06 PM
Senoufou 18 Jul 21 - 06:22 AM
keberoxu 16 Jul 21 - 11:54 PM
keberoxu 16 May 21 - 03:48 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Aug 22 - 08:13 PM

For only the second time in 35 years we've had hummingbird hawk moths in the garden, seemingly most interested in honeysuckle. Unfortunately, the heat and drought have nobbled the butterflies, except for those pesky cabbage whites.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 11 Aug 22 - 08:01 PM

And there are some Norwich Canaries
who are facing heaven knows what varmints!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 04 Aug 22 - 02:28 AM

Husband and I went to bingo last night in a village fairly nearby (Elsing). They'd opened all the doors and windows in their small village hall, and in the middle of the session a bloomin' partridge or pheasant (not sure which) started its loud, rasping call just outside the wide-open fire doors. The poor caller (an ex-RAF chap called Alan) tried manfully to carry on regardless:-
"Four and two, forty two."
"SQUAWK!"
"All the eights, eighty-eight."
"SQUAWK!"
Poor Alan, we all began to giggle and so did he.
One lady suggested that the poor bird actually had a winning Flyer sheet (very good pun eh?)


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 03 Aug 22 - 08:56 PM

rabbits!
rabbits!!
rabbits!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 30 Jul 22 - 07:10 PM

Rabbits have literally been thick on the ground this summer,
and guess what they are attracting here in the hinterlands?

Coyotes. I saw one streaking past me, black tail straight behind it,
in hard sunlight this afternoon.

I only hope that I don't have to watch
as a coyote catches and kills one of the furry little rabbits.
Or hear the rabbit's death shriek. Not fun.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 17 Jul 22 - 07:25 AM

I once saw a male bullfinch in our garden. It was sort of like once seeing a yellow hammer round the back. I wish I'd seen more of them but they never stayed around.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 16 Jul 22 - 12:21 PM

Now we have cicadas. They are the annual sort,
whose numbers are modest and who are rather private,
not about being seen.
They make themselves heard with the buzz,
but even the buzz is discreet-sounding.

A far cry from those periodic cicadas whose arrival
seems close to calamitous when they do come out of the ground.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Jul 22 - 05:28 AM

We've had rare visits to the bird station from a nuthatch and a female bullfinch in the last couple of days. A young fox has been mopping up the spilled bird food for the last week. Our cat and the fox just ignore each other.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 16 Jul 22 - 02:18 AM

How lovely keberoxu! That would have enchanted me.
Yesterday evening as I sat on The Bench, a huge crowd of crows gathered in the skies above our village. I have never seen so many at one time, they blackened the entire sky!
I think they were arriving to drink from our small lakes and the river Wensum. There's a serious water shortage in Norfolk now, and the wildlife must be desperate.
The collective noun for crows is 'murder' - so I was watching a huge murder of crows!
By the way, the collective noun for owls is a 'parliament', because owls are supposed to be wise and intelligent! Er ... I think in England at the moment this needs revising doesn't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 14 Jul 22 - 08:20 PM

Well, today offered me a two-fer.

A little cottontail rabbit, ears perked straight up,
was busily grazing on the newly watered lawn grass.

An even littler chipmunk / ground-squirrel, all stripes,
hunkered down under a shrub.

As I walked past on the pavement,
the ground squirrel made himself scarce.
The rabbit, however, was too preoccupied with stuffing his face
with lovely green grass to budge from the spot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 14 Jul 22 - 03:21 AM

The terrible drought here has produced a plethora of sweet little frogs looking for water. I've picked up several and popped them in a large shallow tray of fresh water which I keep outside for the wildlife.
This morning I found another one and he looked so delighted to be up to his head in some water!
One of my neighbours has a 'frog phobia' and screams blue murder if she sees one. Another screams if she spots a rat or a mouse. I only scream if I see an enormous spider.
Still no sign yet of the huge BamBam oak statue in front of our pub The Fox.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 12 Jul 22 - 08:44 AM

Well, the itty bitty skinny caterpillars are having their way with the rest of us this year, it's a proper infestation.
First, the skinny caterpillars proceeded to devour the foliage on the trees, and the caterpillars got big and really ugly looking.
Now they are moths, BANG just like that,
it has been barely two weeks.

Little moths with dirty dishwater-brown-looking wings.
A lot smaller, if you ask me,
than the big ugly caterpillars were.
The darned moths came out all at once
and they are all but swarming, they are everywhere,
and they are in your face and hair and the back of your neck and UUUGH.

Before they are done,
they will make a disgusting spectacle of the trees
by covering them in this webby looking thing that kills off the tree itself.

This is a periodic thing.
It did not take place in the past two summers that I was here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 10 Jul 22 - 05:02 PM

Repeated Mudcatter reports of rabbits rabbits rabbits at the moment.

I see rabbits every time I travel anywhere.
A rabbit ran around a shrub in front of me, when
I stepped outside early this morning.
Cottontail rabbits, these are, in the New England area.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 17 Jun 22 - 01:57 AM

Sitting on The Bench (as I do for most of the day) I think some nasty insects had crawled up the legs of my jeans, because I now have several itchy-scritchy bites from the knees down.
But I was delighted to hear a cockchafer (very loud, deep buzzing) then I saw it hovering over the rosebush. They bumble around like a vibrating golf ball. But a rather hungry male blackbird was also delighted to see it, and gobbled it up!
Nature red in tooth and claw eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 16 Jun 22 - 06:45 PM

Now it's the little gnats.
They sneak indoors on one's person, one does not even know it,
and then once they are in a room with people in it,
they are literally IN YOUR FACE
and you sit there frantically waving your arms and hands around ...
harder to squash than mosquitoes, they are.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 12 Jun 22 - 01:47 AM

I looked that up keberoxu, and Gypsy Moths are also called Spongy Moths. Apparently they de-leaf trees at an alarming rate.
Yes, Nowhere Lane always makes me smile. We went for a little drive yesterday and passed through Fustyweed, then headed for Little Snoring (next village on from Great Snoring - honestly!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 11 Jun 22 - 05:33 PM

Re post of 3 June:

I believe those itty-bitty things are gypsy moth caterpillars, yuck.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 11 Jun 22 - 05:22 PM

Nowhere Lane, indeed ...
you cannot make up this stuff, can you?


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Donuel
Date: 11 Jun 22 - 03:26 PM

giant spiders give me the creeps but newts are cute.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 11 Jun 22 - 03:06 PM

The latest news in this area is that a new place has opened recently. It's called 'BugzUK' and comprises a sort of zoo in which one can view a variety of insects and creepy-crawlies in their glass cases. There are tarantulas and other gruesome spiders, cockroaches, scorpions, giant millipedes etc.
I was horrified to learn that for an extra couple of quid one can enter the 'touching room'. An assistant brings in some choice specimens for one to hold, stroke and cuddle.
My neighbour went with a friend and held a huge spider. Gaaaaaagh!! Then she found that a millipede's feet are 'quite bristly'.
Schools are now bringing parties of children to experience this treat.
It's in Nowhere Lane (!!) in a village very very near to mine.
I hope the giant spiders don't escape and head up the road!
This place gets madder and madder.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 07 Jun 22 - 06:08 AM

Thank you Jon, that's most interesting.
The same thing could be said for ... er ... African men and their English wives ... :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 07 Jun 22 - 05:18 AM

Mallards don't stay together for long and I'm not sure that many birds do? I think some swans are an example of birds that can pair for life.

Looking Mallards up on the RSP site, I see:
The role of the male is almost over once the clutch is laid. He remains sexually potent for a while in case a replacement clutch is needed, but gradually loses interest and joins other males to moult. At this time groups of males with no obvious duties often mate forcibly with females that appear to be unattached. This anti-social phase is short-lived and ends once moulting is underway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 07 Jun 22 - 02:02 AM

Oh Donuel, what a thoroughly nasty man eh? He's so proud of himself.
A real 'varmint'!
Mr Quackie appeared yesterday, but no sign of his wife or babies. Instead he had a male companion at his side. Has he become gay? I expect Mrs Quackie and her brood are now down by the river, which is far safer for them.
I now have a multitude of hungry starlings who descend on my front garden to eat the bread I put out for them. But they will insist on leaving a 'present' on my neighbour's car which is always parked outside on the road. Should I put up a sign saying 'EAT BUT DON'T POO!'? But no doubt they can't read can they?


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Donuel
Date: 05 Jun 22 - 04:18 PM

This is the most colorful criminal varmit you may ever meet.
Warning: This guy is addictive as binge watching The Sopranos.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cC1LFC0KFSw


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 05 Jun 22 - 02:16 AM

Mrs Quackie waddled over to my front garden with TEN ducklings in a line following her. Tiny little fluffy things. No sign of her husband though. I was worried that the numerous cats around here will have a field day massacring the entire brood. Or some might fall down the drain gratings in the road. Even crossing the road with these babies is dangerous - some silly drivers zoom around the village like F1 racers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 03 Jun 22 - 12:13 AM

The recently leafed-out trees, green as green can be,
are shedding some kind of caterpillar things.
I say shedding, when it fact what happens is
the caterpillar thing spins a thread, someplace up in the branches,
and then this thread dangles down from the foliage,
hovering in the air, with the itty-bitty skinny caterpillar at the end.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 24 Apr 22 - 03:13 PM

The only time I think of earthworms, bless them, as varmints
is when they show up on a rain-flooded pavement first thing in spring.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Mrrzy
Date: 23 Apr 22 - 04:20 PM

My Tazzie sis has marsupial pests that apparently have sex till they disintegrate. Not mice, but like.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 22 Apr 22 - 01:21 AM

I now have two new 'friends' - Mr & Mrs Quackie. They are a pair of rather beautiful mallard ducks who have discovered my sunny front garden. They come waddling over to visit me. (The nearby river and the small lakes are thronged with water birds). I crumble up some bread for them and they happily scoop it up while quacking loudly to each other and to me. But ... when they leave, they say 'thank you' by dropping two large and sloppy poos on my drive, the neighbours' cars or my windows. Then the numerous bloomin' seagulls swoop down and finish up the last of the bread, 'thanking' me in the same way.
I can't decide whether to continue offering bread and risking a poo shower, or to withdraw from managing my 'bird restaurant'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 21 Apr 22 - 08:58 PM

Hugely entertaining spectacle on the green grassy lawn today.
Two crows, and one grey squirrel.

Normally this time of year, the squirrels chase each other,
and it's up and down and around all the trees and things.

But I guess this squirrel was hungry, and for whatever reason,
he wanted something that he could dig up out in the open in the grass.
So there he was, dig dig dig, all business.

The crows were not amused. They wanted to stalk around in the open.
I know not why. An occasional desultory peck at the ground,
but mostly they seemed to be strolling in the sunshine.
And they did NOT want that grey squirrel on their turf.

For several minutes, squirrel versus crows. Not to the death, mind you.
Just each of them sort of chasing the other about.
That darned squirrel actually ran straight at the crows!
And those things are pretty big, compared to a squirrel.
Notwithstanding which, the squirrel made the crow JUMP to one side.

When the crows were impatient enough,
they would move well away from the squirrel,
launch into the air,
and FLY at the squirrel which worked far better than trying to chase the squirrel from the ground.

And squirrels are hilarious when they decide they HAVE to run for it.
I sat there and laughed and laughed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Donuel
Date: 31 Aug 21 - 07:31 AM

aphids


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 31 Aug 21 - 02:57 AM

She's getting along better now thank you keberoxu. There have been no more wasps in her bedroom - she reckons she's managed to 'swat the lot' out of the window. She was worried that her feisty little cat Mela might try to catch one and get stung in her mouth. This can cause the throat to swell and the cat would die.
My neighbour and I were sitting on The Bench when she noticed a large grey thing making its way across our lawn. It was an elephant-hawk moth caterpillar! Blooming enormous (about as long as a pencil and as thick as a finger) They're nice things, and the moths are beautiful. I gently picked it up and popped it onto a bush to pupate. If not, a blackbird might have fancied it for his tea!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 30 Aug 21 - 10:09 PM

Why would you milk something that mimics a leaf on a bush?


Anyway,
Senoufou, what is the latest on your wasp-bedevilled sister?


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Donuel
Date: 30 Aug 21 - 09:15 AM

Do ants milk katydids like we milk cows?


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 27 Aug 21 - 12:23 PM

? Katydid ?

All my life I have observed the word 'Katydid' in North American english-language literature, and never knew
quite what insect they were talking about.

So here I am online, looking up 'bush cricket' to see if
it matches what I saw the other day on the ramp railing outdoors.
"Leaf Mimic" -- positively, absolutely, yes.
So I'm searching on 'cricket' and 'leaf mimic' together, and up pops
KATYDID.

I'll be darned!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 27 Aug 21 - 03:40 AM

My poor sister told me she woke up in the middle of the night and her entire bedroom was a-buzz with literally hundreds of wasps. They were all over the curtains, the walls, the furniture, and one had even stung her foot, which is what had wakened her! She's a tough lady, so she merely swatted them out as best she could, but couldn't see where they were coming from. The next night, there they were again, but in reduced numbers.
I told her to contact the Pest Control people, who would locate the nest (usually a thing like a large paper ball) and eradicate the blooming things permanently. I reckon the nest was probably in her loft.
She hasn't done this though, and today I got another e mail saying they're back again, but only about a dozen!
I'm only afraid of spiders, but wasp stings can be dodgy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 26 Aug 21 - 09:07 PM

Back in the summer of 2018, a post was entered by someone
whose home had a 'bush cricket' come inside
that had to be gently removed and taken back outside.
I had no idea what a 'bush cricket' was.

Yesterday I saw my first bush cricket,
or so I am told that's what it was.
This from one of the kitchen staff where I am staying.
The staffperson has a smartphone with a camera, and snapped a photo of the insect,
then looked it up, and reported to the rest of us
that it was a bush cricket.
I would never have attached the word 'cricket' to this thing.


It's a pale green color and its body
is shaped like a leaf on a bush: brilliant camouflage.
Then its three pairs of legs are like something
from a daddy-long-legs spider,
these LONG skinny bent appendages.

For whatever reason, this beastie left the bushes
and positioned itself on the railing for the
wheelchair-access ramp to the front door of the residence.
Just sat there on top of the railing where anyone could see it.

We all came creeping over to it and exclaiming over it,
pointing at it, hunching down to look closer at it.
I thought it might try to get away.
It just sat there.

I have never seen anything quite like it in real life,
it reminds me of nature films that show exotic creatures.

Nobody touched it and I guess it went back to where it came from.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 30 Jul 21 - 01:45 PM

The doctor seriously doubts that I had a tick bite.
More likely some sort of biting fly, like a horsefly or "greenfly".
After those initial symptoms during the first five days or so,
the whole thing quieted down to normal and the bite disappeared.

But the doctor has told me what to watch for,
should the symptoms of Lyme Disease in fact present themselves.
That skin rash, which I have never had, is one of the big symptoms.
Also flu-like symptoms.

So I have not had the titer/test for Lyme disease,
and I'm watching to see what develops -- hopefully nothing more.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Donuel
Date: 25 Jul 21 - 06:25 PM

In the last 2 years I have had to rescue Ralph the raccoon from our garbage can three times after the hinged lid closed on him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 23 Jul 21 - 06:00 AM

You could even say we were all quackers!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 23 Jul 21 - 05:50 AM

Gosh! I can't imagine what we'd do if a bear cub appeared round here!
We've had a weird event this morning in the village. About two hundred (yes, 200!) ducks escaped from a duck farm (they lay eggs for sale, duck eggs are big and much enjoyed here, but we don't like them) and were wandering around in one giant flock in and out of people's gardens. Several folk from the farm came and gently rounded them up, then posted a video on our village Facebook site. They were later transported off to Fustyweed.
The ducks can't fly because they've had their flight feathers trimmed.
I also saw the red kite hovering over our house.
And thrips are landing on our T shirts in their hundreds. I have a white T shirt with black dots on, and suddenly the black dots seemed to be increasing by the dozen!
And more cockchafers are bumbling about buzzing loudly.
This village is still quite mad!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 21 Jul 21 - 03:44 PM

The nurses are going to get a doctor's appointment
to get the nibble/bite looked at --
even the hard little lump is nearly gone now.

My social worker here at the clinic came back from vacation.

The backyard at his home, at about half-past-two in the morning one night,
got a visit from a bear cub.
Mature enough to get itself into a lot of trouble,
too dumb and ignorant to get itself out of trouble.

The bear cub tried to climb a sapling of a tree next to the deck.
The darned branches cracked under the cub's weight,
although the trunk stood up regardless.

My social worker, busy attempting to restrain his two dogs
( one of them is inclined to fight to the death regardless),
heard the noise the bear cub was making.
It was a distress cry like calling to the bear's dam.

A horrible noise, he tells me.
It combined a whine, a howl, and something like a hiss.

All ended peaceably
with the dogs locked in the house
and the cub, well, it got itself away in one piece somehow.
(Glad it didn't visit MY area.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Donuel
Date: 20 Jul 21 - 01:13 PM

The virus of Lyme disease found in ticks is a pernicious spirokete, related to Syphillus. Catch it late and one faces years of medication, catch it way late and crippling symptoms appear. Catch it early even if tests can't detect it yet and take the pills for months.
Cephalexin worked for me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Jos
Date: 20 Jul 21 - 12:36 PM

I'd have it looked at anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 20 Jul 21 - 10:55 AM

The ring is yellow.
Only the little bite is red.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Jos
Date: 20 Jul 21 - 03:21 AM

Keb, if you have a red ring around the bite you MUST get medical treatment if you haven't already. The disease ticks carry can cause mental problems that you really don't need.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 19 Jul 21 - 10:06 PM

A tick had the brass nerve to BITE my arm.
All I did was cross a grassy lawn
from one building to my parked car in the parking lot.
It's not a big bite.
But sheesh, that big ring around the bite on the skin ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 18 Jul 21 - 06:22 AM

We have had several cockchafers around here. They are large, winged things (beetles actually) about the size of a golf ball. They fly/blunder about making a very loud, low buzzing noise. I'm always pleased to see them because they're not all that common nowadays, I like their loud throbbing buzz (and their name makes me giggle).


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 16 Jul 21 - 11:54 PM

Are porcupines varmints? I guess it depends.

The incident reported on, in the following link,
is from last year actually.

It's a news story now because the sentencing of the two men just happened this week.
Also note the mention of the Veterans' Administration,
the U. S. Marine Corps,
active duty in Afghanistan,
and post-traumatic stress disorder.

And yes, I DO feel sorry for the --
did they say, eleven total? -- porcupines.
Maybe Stephen King could make a story out of it.

Bangor Daily News: Sentencing for porcupine killers


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 16 May 21 - 03:48 PM

Marked increase in roadkill in western Massachusetts,
now that the weather is warm enough
to have melted ALL of the ice.


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Mudcat time: 12 August 3:01 AM EDT

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