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BS: Varmints

keberoxu 11 Jun 18 - 03:49 PM
robomatic 11 Jun 18 - 03:54 PM
Donuel 11 Jun 18 - 04:25 PM
Acme 11 Jun 18 - 05:13 PM
Senoufou 11 Jun 18 - 05:43 PM
Senoufou 11 Jun 18 - 05:45 PM
pdq 11 Jun 18 - 06:57 PM
Joe Offer 11 Jun 18 - 08:21 PM
Steve Shaw 11 Jun 18 - 09:06 PM
Steve Shaw 11 Jun 18 - 09:09 PM
keberoxu 11 Jun 18 - 09:30 PM
Acme 11 Jun 18 - 11:36 PM
Senoufou 12 Jun 18 - 03:44 AM
keberoxu 13 Jun 18 - 01:03 PM
keberoxu 14 Jun 18 - 06:03 PM
Steve Shaw 14 Jun 18 - 06:41 PM
Rapparee 14 Jun 18 - 08:46 PM
Senoufou 15 Jun 18 - 07:51 AM
Senoufou 15 Jun 18 - 07:51 AM
keberoxu 15 Jun 18 - 11:15 PM
keberoxu 15 Jun 18 - 11:16 PM
keberoxu 16 Jun 18 - 02:03 PM
Acme 16 Jun 18 - 02:40 PM
keberoxu 16 Jun 18 - 09:29 PM
keberoxu 18 Jun 18 - 01:26 PM
Senoufou 18 Jun 18 - 01:34 PM
keberoxu 18 Jun 18 - 07:02 PM
keberoxu 30 Jun 18 - 06:56 PM
JennieG 01 Jul 18 - 03:14 AM
Senoufou 01 Jul 18 - 04:10 AM
keberoxu 01 Jul 18 - 03:32 PM
Senoufou 01 Jul 18 - 03:47 PM
robomatic 01 Jul 18 - 09:03 PM
JennieG 02 Jul 18 - 03:31 AM
keberoxu 02 Jul 18 - 03:19 PM
Steve Shaw 02 Jul 18 - 07:08 PM
Joe Offer 02 Jul 18 - 07:44 PM
Senoufou 03 Jul 18 - 04:20 AM
Howard Jones 03 Jul 18 - 06:57 AM
Senoufou 03 Jul 18 - 07:39 AM
keberoxu 03 Jul 18 - 11:47 AM
Senoufou 04 Jul 18 - 03:24 AM
Jos 04 Jul 18 - 03:59 AM
Charmion 04 Jul 18 - 05:02 PM
Senoufou 04 Jul 18 - 05:16 PM
keberoxu 05 Jul 18 - 09:54 AM
Acme 05 Jul 18 - 10:35 AM
Senoufou 05 Jul 18 - 12:40 PM
keberoxu 05 Jul 18 - 02:19 PM
keberoxu 14 Jul 18 - 10:04 PM
keberoxu 17 Jul 18 - 09:29 PM
Steve Shaw 18 Jul 18 - 06:36 PM
Senoufou 18 Jul 18 - 06:45 PM
KarenH 21 Jul 18 - 09:09 AM
Senoufou 21 Jul 18 - 12:32 PM
keberoxu 22 Jul 18 - 09:05 PM
keberoxu 31 Jul 18 - 12:15 PM
Senoufou 31 Jul 18 - 12:59 PM
Jos 31 Jul 18 - 01:22 PM
Senoufou 31 Jul 18 - 01:44 PM
keberoxu 31 Jul 18 - 02:22 PM
Steve Shaw 31 Jul 18 - 06:54 PM
JennieG 01 Aug 18 - 03:12 AM
Senoufou 01 Aug 18 - 06:01 AM
Jos 01 Aug 18 - 06:11 AM
Steve Shaw 01 Aug 18 - 07:52 AM
Steve Shaw 01 Aug 18 - 08:40 AM
Jon Freeman 01 Aug 18 - 10:24 AM
Senoufou 01 Aug 18 - 12:58 PM
keberoxu 02 Aug 18 - 03:52 PM
Steve Shaw 02 Aug 18 - 04:36 PM
keberoxu 02 Aug 18 - 04:50 PM
robomatic 04 Aug 18 - 09:10 PM
JennieG 05 Aug 18 - 02:11 AM
Charmion 05 Aug 18 - 05:31 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Aug 18 - 04:32 AM
Donuel 08 Aug 18 - 08:11 AM
Steve Shaw 09 Aug 18 - 06:03 AM
Senoufou 09 Aug 18 - 06:16 AM
Steve Shaw 09 Aug 18 - 06:18 AM
Senoufou 09 Aug 18 - 12:22 PM
keberoxu 09 Aug 18 - 06:21 PM
Senoufou 10 Aug 18 - 02:40 AM
Jos 10 Aug 18 - 03:58 AM
Senoufou 10 Aug 18 - 05:58 AM
Thompson 10 Aug 18 - 06:16 AM
Senoufou 10 Aug 18 - 07:48 AM
Donuel 10 Aug 18 - 02:55 PM
Senoufou 13 Aug 18 - 03:20 AM
Steve Shaw 13 Aug 18 - 05:23 AM
Senoufou 13 Aug 18 - 06:01 AM
Steve Shaw 13 Aug 18 - 06:10 AM
Senoufou 13 Aug 18 - 06:17 AM
Jos 13 Aug 18 - 06:18 AM
Steve Shaw 13 Aug 18 - 07:12 AM
Senoufou 13 Aug 18 - 08:16 AM
keberoxu 13 Aug 18 - 04:32 PM

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Subject: javelinas and others
From: keberoxu
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 03:49 PM

So I arrive in southern Arizona in summer
for a week's stay at a resort / former ranch,
in the foothills near the mountains.
Saguaro cactus everywhere.

The staffperson from reception assists me in walking my suitcases
to the room, which entrance is outdoors, not inside a corridor.
He begins to warn me about strolling the grounds, especially after dark.

You gotta watch out for the javelinas.
Are there tarantulas?
Javelinas are not tarantulas. Javelinas are more like kinda sort of a little b-
I KNOW what javelinas are. Are There Tarantulas?!
I been here one and a half years and I never seen a tarantula.

A fellow guest was more to the point, at the supper table.

First time I stayed here, I encountered about a dozen javelinas all in one group together.
They spooked the hell outta me, he says.
And whatever you do,
don't get in between baby javelinas and their mama!
She's taking the babies out for a stroll and you just
give her and her babies a real wide berth.
Stay out of her way.

So it's just after dark and I have the little flashlight.
The resort grounds, while all native plantings,
are groomed within an inch of their lives,
and the paved walkways are well lit,
as are the drives for autos and golf carts.

I trudge along from lamppost to lamppost,
working my little keychain-sized flashlight like a strobe,
blink blink blink!
And muttering:
You stay away from me, you little buggers, don't even THINK about
getting close to me ...

I think they heard me. Smelled me. Whatever.
Didn't see any last night. Maybe before the week is up
I will spot javelinas.
Or scorpions.
Or a grand variety of snakes, including rattlers.
No tarantulas, though.

I would dearly like to know about the
animal-group vocabulary here.

What does one call/name
a dozen snorting little javelinas?

A SNORT of javelinas?
Or maybe it's a word in Spanish or indigenous First-Nation language?


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: robomatic
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 03:54 PM

Or... watch out for Vinegaroons (2:50 in)


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Donuel
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 04:25 PM

Looks worse than their bite

I found them in NYS


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Acme
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 05:13 PM

You don't want to see tarantulas but you want to see the rest? What about western diamondback rattlers? Or whippoorwills? Coyotes? Bunnies and hares? I saw a lot of wildlife in the Sonoran desert when I worked out there. I did also see both tarantulas and tarantula hawks (the orange-winged wasps that lay eggs on the paralyzed spiders they drag into their holes). You could come to my house in Texas to see tarantulas if you want to see some. I also have lightning bugs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 05:43 PM

I've just googled javelinas, and they look rather sweet, although I appreciate they might attack if they have young with them.

Then I stupidly googled Arizona tarantulas, and oh crumbs! I wish I hadn't!!
I have arachnaphobia, but here in UK we don't get BIG FAT HAIRY MONSTERS like those!!! Gaaaaah!

I've seen some biggies in Senegal, Ghana and Gambia etc. I'll be having nightmares now...


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 05:45 PM

That should say arachnophobia. I'm so shocked I can hardly spell!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: pdq
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 06:57 PM

Two of Arizona's interesting game animals are usually called by the wrong names.

The pronghorn is not an antelope. It has horns and not antlers as do the African true antelope.

The collared peccary is related to pigs but is not one. It is found from southern Arizona (and southern Texas) to north of Argentina. The name javelina is one of many across the animal's range but is not the correct one.

Collared peccary run in groups called herds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 08:21 PM

I see tarantulas on the roads here and there in the Sierra Nevada Foothills in California. I usually try to stop and observe. They're interesting little guys, and very mellow and slow-moving.
Don't like encountering rattlesnakes, though.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 09:06 PM

For many years we've had grass snakes nesting in my compost heap. A week ago I saw the latest denizen, three feet long and of very healthy girth. The following morning I saw him/her again before he/she had had a chance to warm up in the sun. We had a lovely chat. I told him/her what a very fine snake he/she was, among other things. He/she just fixed me with his/her beady eye whilst tasting the morning air with forked tongue. I felt glad to be alive. Grass snakes are completely harmless. Though I doubt whether the frogs and toads in my garden would agree.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 09:09 PM

Spiders are amazingly beautiful. If you see an orb web spider in its web, grab a magnifying glass and take a close look, or take a macro photo. You'll be converted. They're lovely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 09:30 PM

I know what else Acme has in her vicinity:
she has Great-Tailed Grackles.

I have witnessed Texas-origin YouTube videos of
Great-Tailed Grackles being nuisances,
in staggering numbers.

In Phoenix Arizona, however, the Great-Tailed Grackle, while present,
seem to have smaller numbers. They still favor parking lots and all,
but not in Texas-sized multitudes.

In Arizona it amuses me no end when the sun sets,
and the Great-Tailed Grackles leave the parking lots and head for
trees, shrubs, or bushes,
where they do this big crepuscular chorus.
They sound, for a number of minutes, in a funny way
like an orchestra in the orchestra pit,
before it is time to tune up.

You know, the musicians come out in concert dress, with instruments and written music parts,
and while waiting for tune-up / conductor,
they sit down there in the pit,
each practicing her or his own little practice routine, all at once.
So they are all carrying on at the same time.

And the Great-Tailed Grackle has a vocabulary
with a variety such as the grackles in the Great Lakes
have never uttered in my hearing.
Not, at any rate, the stubby-tailed Yankee grackles of my youth.

And what I did observe on the resort today, in the sunshine,
were the little blue-tailed lizards, which are small and amusing
and very very fast.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Acme
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 11:36 PM

You learn the definition of murmuration if you live very long in Texas - that is the dusk flights of combined starling and grackle flocks. They are fluid in how the whole long string of them move in unison.

I've rescued two toads from water containers this week; one out of the dogs' wading pool, the other out of my watering can. I found a new can with a much smaller hole so hopefully this won't happen again, and I'll float a piece of wood in the water (something I have to do every year; the other option is to stack a couple of bricks at the side of the tank so there is a spot to climb onto and jump or be rescued from.)

Coyotes, foxes, skunks, opossums, birds of prey, water birds, song birds, vultures, turtles, tortoises, lots of lizards, a few snakes, there is wildlife here. Most of us have it around us (this is a good thing) if we only bother to look.

I was a bit surprised to find a tarantula in the house the first time; later I spotted one in the street and gave it a boost out with a stick in my hand, only to realize that they're quite fragile and I'd injured the poor thing. It died on the curb where I tried to push it to protect it. After than I'm very careful around them. We have the charismatic argiope or "zipper" spider that slings out a large web and inhabits it day and night, unlike others that only put out the web after dark. These argiope are large and brightly colored and I've spent a lot of time observing them, photographing them, and tossing bugs into their webs. You can feed Junebugs to just about anything around here, it's the universal food type (even my dogs like to eat them.) Toads will sit on the porch and wait till you toss the bugs, I see lizards hanging out on the window screens at night, the room light attracting the insects they catch.

I don't like cockroaches, and they're endemic here also. But lots of things eat them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 12 Jun 18 - 03:44 AM

'Spiders are amazingly beautiful' - and I can move amazingly fast if I catch a glimpse of one. I certainly wouldn't be admiring the blooming thing through a magnifying glass, I'd be shrieking for my husband! (He gently puts them out, then calms me down with a hug, bless him)

Tarantula IN THE HOUSE??? GAAAAAAAGH!!!!! (faints)

I actually quite like snakes. Naturally I kept my distance from venomous ones in Africa. But our resident grass snake in our last house, Hissing Sid, was wonderful. My neighbour and I really liked him, and were forever stopping the cats (I had five in those days!) from tormenting him. He could whizz along remarkably swiftly, and lived in the bank of the ditch beside the field adjoining our gardens. Beautiful creature. They can bite, but aren't venomous.

We had numerous slow worms too. A sort of bronzy colour (actually legless lizards, not snakes or worms)

We've had our windows open all night over the last few weeks, and I've found two extremely interesting moths that look exactly like folded, dry leaves. Quite large, and very beautiful. I managed to get them outside without damaging them, using a glass and a sheet of paper.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 13 Jun 18 - 01:03 PM

Still have not seen a javelina,
which is just as well.

But I can report having seen:
quail moving very fast

road runner, head high, sauntering across a paved road
(were it running, its head would be forward and down)

too many hummingbirds to count


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 14 Jun 18 - 06:03 PM

On the subject of tarantulas, I give you what I believe is
a Spanish version of a tarantella
("tarantella" comes from "tarantula," no?)

"Zapateado" by Jiménez


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Jun 18 - 06:41 PM

The tarantella dance originated in the beautiful Italian region of Puglia. There's a town there called Taranto, which, unfortunately, is not the finest town in Puglia. But it's an enchanting region, a place apart from the rest of Italy. We spent a week in Puglia, staying in the amazing town of Lecce. Go there before the tourist masses discover It!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Rapparee
Date: 14 Jun 18 - 08:46 PM

Don't forget the Gila monsters. Pretty things, but don't touch them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 15 Jun 18 - 07:51 AM

I'd never heard of those Rap! 'Heloderma suspectum' - very funny Latin name!
They are attractive though (I googled it) and though venomous, they don't kill people.
I learn something new every day here on Mudcat!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 15 Jun 18 - 07:51 AM

I'd never heard of those Rap! 'Heloderma suspectum' - very funny Latin name!
They are attractive though (I googled it) and though venomous, they don't kill people.
I learn something new every day here on Mudcat!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 15 Jun 18 - 11:15 PM

Bigger lizards. Have seen two.
One was on a treetrunk, not going anyplace,
just hanging on one side of the tree
with all four feet.

The other bigger-lizard was under a shrub,
moving about in tiny circles,
and would stop
with its head bobbing up and down as it looked at things.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 15 Jun 18 - 11:16 PM

What I heard at dusk last night
was, I think, coyotes.
Not IN the resort.
But in the desert outside the resort,
perhaps in mountain foothills as well.

Very high squeaky yip yip yiiiiiipps!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 16 Jun 18 - 02:03 PM

Have yet to see a javelina or a Gila monster.

However, some of my fellow guests at the resort
have seen them some Gila monsters on the grounds.
Actually there is a staff member who has
an ongoing relationship, I am told, with
one particular Gila monster. I don't know the details,
but the two of them meet regularly. Bet food is involved.

One guest going down a sidewalk could not help but observe
the Gila monster sitting right on the concrete, motionless.
She walked around it. As she continued walking, she looked back,
and there it was, following her down the sidewalk.
She was telling all about it the next day.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Acme
Date: 16 Jun 18 - 02:40 PM

Sounds like the association between humans and food has been made.

I stopped feeding our smallish red squirrels on campus because apparently some of them are overly aggressive in panhandling. The campus is quieter during summer so they've resumed digging up the acorns and pecans they buried, so it's a good time to wean them of human fed nuts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 16 Jun 18 - 09:29 PM

Two nights ago, I spotted two local-variety cottontail rabbits.

Turns out, not all of the resort ground plantings are indigenous. And the ground plantings have changed over the years. I was listening to a long-time staffperson remarking on the subject.

There used to be, she says, a lot more patches of thick green grass, which in a place this dry, requires much irrigating. A transition is being made, across the resort, from the lush green grass to arrangements of native plants surrounded by gravel.

One large patch of green grass remains in an open courtyard adorned with lawn chairs and benches, as well as shrubs of some kind.
Two nights ago I was in a lawn chair out in the open, as the sun went down. After it started getting dark, out came the two cottontails.

I commented on this to one of the bellhops. "The rabbits are hungry," he explained, "and at that hour, when they're hungry, they come out to feed." The remaining patches of grass are certainly well maintained and there is much to munch on.
And munch they did. The two little rabbits hunkered right down to graze, and paid no attention to people on the sidewalk, walking directly past them. Serious business, grazing when you're hungry.

After the passersby had all left, and I had remained quite motionless in my chair watching the rabbits, the dancing started.

I was not prepared to see these straight-up-and-down bounces and hops.
I'm well accustomed to rabbits in flight, bounding laterally with great leaps of the hind legs. But this BOUNCE! BOUNCE! BOUNCE! and pausing to stare at each other in between? I had never before seen that in my life.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 18 Jun 18 - 01:26 PM

Just checked out of the resort in Tucson.

Never did see a javelin. Or a tarantula.

Just as glad I didn't, on reflection.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 18 Jun 18 - 01:34 PM

How sweet keberoxu! I'd have loved to watch that!

Last Friday evening, my husband was locking up the rural school where he's a cleaner. It was 9pm, and he's the last worker to leave. Suddenly he saw a shape moving in the bushes. Then a huge hare bounded out right in front of him and shot away, its long ears with their black tips standing up stiff.
It was still fairly light so he had a good view.
Coming home along Nowhere Lane (!) he usually sees muntjac deer and the odd fox, plus lots of rabbits (baby ones at this time of year)


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 18 Jun 18 - 07:02 PM

Still in Arizona, having traveled from Tucson up to Phoenix.
The car radio, en route,
advised all and sundry of a new hazard
in certain Phoenix neighborhoods:

bats with rabies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 30 Jun 18 - 06:56 PM

Back in Massachusetts,
the seals are holding forth on Cape Cod.
That means great white sharks.
This past week an entire beach was cleared for a day
because a great white shark was spotted.
Without incident, fortunately.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: JennieG
Date: 01 Jul 18 - 03:14 AM

I had never heard of a javelina, so had to look it up. Kinda looks like some sort of pig.

The name sounds as though it should be on a posh menu caressed with an exotic sauce.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 01 Jul 18 - 04:10 AM

Hahaha Jennie! It does doesn't it?

'Char-grilled javelina drenched in a spicy tabasco sauce, resting on a bed of buttered spinach, with a side-plate of tossed javelina trotters'


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 01 Jul 18 - 03:32 PM

Yes, there are tenuous mammal-connected relationships there.

I read that the peccary, or javelina,
not only has a distant connection to the pig group,
but is closer to boars,
and moreover is connected to the hippopotamus.

And the hippopotamus can be lethal -- don't get one angry,
especially in its favored element of water,
where the hippo is notorious for killing humans.

Oh dear ... I knew this would remind me of
"mud, mud, glo-ri-ous mud ..."


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 01 Jul 18 - 03:47 PM

Hippos kill around 3000 people each year in Africa.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: robomatic
Date: 01 Jul 18 - 09:03 PM

Alaska has no natural snakes. There are pets. One rather large constrictor got loose a year ago.


Another was literally a (sleepy) snake on a plane .

As far as an Alaska 'varmint'? indoor mice and voles which attack suburban homes in cold climes and potentially worse can invade shelter cabins where maybe some prospector of yore would leave a backup sack of beans. I don't think we regard porcupines as varmints, because although they can give a dog a horrible experience, they have also been used as dog food on the mush trail. And we don't have skunks for some reason.

The official state bird, by which I mean the mosquito, can be a major inconvenience, but it is not a surprise, and it is, despite the proud rumours, too small to be dealt with by buckshot, even very small buckshot.

There have been certain State legislators who might fill the bill, but then there's the problem of getting everyone to agree. There was one legislator and I actually saw this joke about him in the Sunday major newspaper a bunch of years ago: "You're in a locked room with Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Jack Hamholtz (well known legislator). You've got a .44 with two bullets loaded. What do you do?






Answer:






"Shoot Jack twice, to be sure."


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: JennieG
Date: 02 Jul 18 - 03:31 AM

Oz has many interesting critters and varmints. These fellers for instance, are quite common in this area; the first year we moved here (2010) we saw a baby brown snake in the garden. Don't know where it went, but hopefully it's no longer around.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 02 Jul 18 - 03:19 PM

The Annual Insect Appearance has taken place in my rental apartment.

I keep one of those plug-in thingies for my apartment bathroom.
It supposedly works with the electrical wiring to set up a sonic area
that insects and vermin find repellent.
Spiders don't count -- there are always a few spiders around.

But I never see rodent varmints, at any rate.

And the only time I spy a six-legged critter
(mosquitoes don't count, they have other ways of sneaking around)
is about this time of year.
I only see one. It doesn't live very long once I spot it.

After these umpteen years,
I still don't rightly know
if what I squash under my shoe once a year in the elderly wall-to-wall carpet
is an ant or a termite.

You know, though, that when you spy one of those out and about,
it means ...

well, anyway. For some reason I only see one per year --
and the building is an old building.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Jul 18 - 07:08 PM

Bloody horseflies/tabanids/clegs. This wet spring then hot summer has been the worst time ever. They literally tear into your skin to get at your blood. I've been bitten hundreds of times and the little buggers ignore both deet and citronella. Luckily my bites itch like mad for an hour then I'm ok. Mrs Steve's bites last for days and she's reluctant to go outside. I've had at least two or three bad mozzie bites at a time for weeks. They take days to settle down. Asda sell little tubes of "bite and sting relief" cream for £1.50. It contains hydrocortisone, bad I know, but it gets you through the night!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Jul 18 - 07:44 PM

We had a rattlesnake on our front porch last week. It was a hot day, and it just stayed in one place. Since we have a dog that likes to pick up rattlesnakes, we figured we'd better get rid of it. So, we called Ramirez Rattlesnake Removal. I met Len Ramirez in the supermarket a couple years ago, and he was very gracious about answering all my questions.

Len came 15 minutes after we called, and caught the snake in less than a minute with a long grabbing tool. He held the snake up and gave me time to take photos, and then dropped it in a bucket with two other snakes he'd caught on previous calls. Then he took us around the house to look for other snakes and to point out hiding places we should eliminate or at least be aware of.

Len is a great businessman. He's a good looking guy with tall leather boots and a white cowboy hat, and he's a great storyteller and very knowledgeable. He drives a flashy red truck that he must wash twice a day. He has been in business since 1985 and has never, ever killed a snake - he releases them all into safe areas. His visit was worth every penny of his $195 fee. I never thought having a rattlesnake would be such an entertaining experience.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 03 Jul 18 - 04:20 AM

Goodness Joe, a rattlesnake! And That Ramirez sounds like the American version of Crocodile Dundee!
Glad he doesn't kill the snakes. But (voice of doom) surely, where there's one, there are others? I see that he did a tour of possible hiding places, but I'd be extremely scared of stepping on another one.
Hope you're both safe!

We're getting an influx of those dear little damsel flies from all the lakes and rivers around our village. They have a gorgeous turquoise jewel-like body. They get in but can't get out again, and bash themselves against the ceiling and windows. Then they fall dead on the floor. We found several corpses behind the cane sofa in the conservatory. I try to capture them gently to take them outside (they don't bite or sting), but they're hard to grab, they dart so swiftly out of reach. Sad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Howard Jones
Date: 03 Jul 18 - 06:57 AM

If I were a rattlesnake-catcher then I'd wear the tallest boots I could find!

We're thankfully free from anything like that in the UK, but we did adopt a stray Californian King Snake which had escaped from a neighbour (who had since moved away) and survived several months in the wild before being found curled up on the roadside verge.

I'm not feeling very well-disposed towards foxes at the moment, after one killed one of our chickens the other night. We're also pretty sure it was that which attacked one of our cats.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 03 Jul 18 - 07:39 AM

You were lucky Howard that the fox didn't slaughter the entire bunch of chickens. They often do that if they get into a hen-house, leaving a pile of feathers and several blood-soaked corpses. They only take one or two away to eat, but seem to enjoy killing the lot anyway!

And they stink!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 03 Jul 18 - 11:47 AM

There are fox/foxes in this part of eastern Massachusetts,
but it seems to me that
the coyotes get more attention.
It isn't that the coyotes are more numerous, so much.
It is that today's coyotes inhabit areas of North America
that they never before ventured into,
that is,
until our colonist ancestors began despoiling the land,
laying waste to the stands of forests,
and exterminating wolves, which last kept the coyotes at bay.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 04 Jul 18 - 03:24 AM

Sitting on my famous garden bench yesterday evening I saw the most amazing pair of red kites. (Latin name Milvus milvus!) soaring above the village. I was thrilled.

4.30am this morning, we were woken by the very annoying call of a red kite apparently right above our house. Squee squee squee on and on.
It must have been circling, because it didn't stop for ages. Blooming thing.

Actually a few years ago they were very rare and only found in parts of Wales. Several were released into other parts of UK and Norfolk seemed to suit them admirably.

They're quite large and distinctive. But could they please shut up until maybe 7am? Bugger off Milvus milvus!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Jos
Date: 04 Jul 18 - 03:59 AM

The red kites were reintroduced by the RSPB and English Nature nearly thirty years ago in the Chilterns near Stokenchurch. There was a webcam in a red kites' nest allowing people to watch the chicks from the café in the Stokenchurch garden centre. The birds were so successful that they started to be a nuisance and local people complained. I was told that a few years ago a number were captured and released in other parts of the country. They now turn up all over the place.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Charmion
Date: 04 Jul 18 - 05:02 PM

When I lived in Halifax (Nova Scotia), a colony of large gulls lived on the flat roof of the apartment building, right over my window. I loved watching them diving off the roof into the updraft from the chimney of the house downhill from our building, but I did not -- repeat not -- enjoy their family squabbles, which included thumping of large avian bodies on the tarpaper as well as the usual raucous yelling.

Here in Stratford, it's cardinals. They make a noise like a slide-whistle at dawn, especially when I'm trying to get back to sleep after having visited the loo.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 04 Jul 18 - 05:16 PM

Oh seagulls Charmion! Another blooming nuisance!

We have a lovely window cleaner called Andy, he comes round every six weeks. Before he arrives, there's no seagull poo down any of our windows, but after he's been, they take it in turns to do their worst. How do they poo sideways? And how do they know we've just paid Andy? My poor husband has to go round with a cloth and get it all off.

I like the sound of your cardinals. Slide whistle!! Hee hee. There's a children's programme here called 'The Clangers' (little knitted characters) and they always speak like a slide whistle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 09:54 AM

The Fourth of July, for some reason,
gave a US cable TV channel, which shall remain nameless,
an excuse for a marathon of
"Jaws" movies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Acme
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 10:35 AM

Many of the cable channels choose holidays for marathons. Star Trek, James Bond, themed television series, etc. Jaws wouldn't be so bad, I haven't seem them in a while.

Fireworks last night in the area, intermittently and far enough off that they didn't particularly alarm the new dog (here just over four weeks) though she did hang out under my desk and her head jerked up a few times when she heard them. She looked at me, looked at the other dogs ignoring them, and took her cue. #SmartDog

Ticks are the problem here, now. The climate is shifting and it seems to be bringing them more and more into the yard. I sprayed Beneficial nematodes and I'll do another spray the next time it rains. This kills the soil stage to avoid more new adults, but existing adults can live a long time between blood meals.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 12:40 PM

We're in a state of very severe drought here. Not a drop of rain for weeks, and very hot temperatures for Eastern England. I've been putting out low, flat pots full of water for hedgehogs and other thirsty creatures. Our two birdbaths are refilled every morning too.

Dead insects all over the floor and windowsills of the conservatory.
I feel so sorry for all the wildlife. The earth is like dust and everything is dying.

When I was staying in Senegal in a small 'campement' (lodging) it was as dry as dust (very little rain for five years!) So I put out a shallow dish full of water in their courtyard, for the pretty little birds and lizards.

The proprietor came zooming out and told me not to do that. She said that in a very short time all the snakes in the area would be congregating round the dish!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 02:19 PM

Just as long as the TV marathon
isn't that series of movies about rats.
Cue the Michael Jackson single:

"Ben, you're always running here and there ... "

ugh


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 14 Jul 18 - 10:04 PM

Visiting Springfield, Massachusetts, en route to someplace else.
Stayed two nights; had to find somewhere to dine.

This is a former mill/industrial river city.
Its downtown urban area, as you might expect,
is badly depressed. Probably some renovation has happened, but parts just look rotten.

I knew to avoid one restaurant, for the excellent reason
that a contributor's online review
included the photo that he took on his phone,
then showed to the restaurant manager, who bluffed and denied everything.
It was the floor outside the public toilets,
upon which there sat a little mouse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 17 Jul 18 - 09:29 PM

Have arrived at a resort.
This one is not in Arizona.
Rather it is in the so-called Tri-State area sort of.
Which is to say, people in the Tri-State area
come here regularly,
regardless of which state the resort is in.

No javelinas here, nor tarantulas.
But there is an ornamental pond stocked with koi.
Nice to see that the koi are not too large.
I feel sorry when they get really large.
They are confined as it is,
but to be confined in a space that one is a little too large
for? That would be pretty miserable.
But then I'm no koi.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Jul 18 - 06:36 PM

I can't wait for the picota cherry season every year. They come from that bit of Spain near the Portugal border and are unique among cherries in that they have stalks that drop off before they reach the consumer. They are also the cheapest and the tastiest cherries that money can buy. Thing is, I opened my first pack yesterday to find an extremely active medium-sized spider in there. I put it outside the back door. God knows where it is now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 18 Jul 18 - 06:45 PM

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh Steve!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: KarenH
Date: 21 Jul 18 - 09:09 AM

I really hate it when you get up in the night barefoot and tread on a big fat slug in the dark kitchen.

My pet annoyances are slugs and snails. It seems almost impossible to keep them out of the house. A salt barrier around the external doors is one way. I give on Lavendula, which they seem to love, stripping a plant within one day of purchase.

Also those little red ants that hide under rocks and get into your clothes and run all over you biting.

"Varmint" We think of this as being a US word, but what about it's origins? It looks related to 'vermin', a standard English word.

I am guessing it comes from some non-standard dialect taken over the ocean, because my husband supposedly had jaundice as a child. His mother (English) told me about it more or less in the following words: 'He had yeller jarnders, caused by varmints'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 21 Jul 18 - 12:32 PM

I don't much mind slugs Karen, but I'm not keen on those slimy, silvery trails they leave along the floor of our utility room.

When it's wet weather (oh heavens, I dream of rain - we haven't had a drop for literally months!) the most enormous bright orange slugs appear around our back step. I didn't realise they could be that large!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 22 Jul 18 - 09:05 PM

Slugs in the kitchen ...
good thing I don't live where you live.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 31 Jul 18 - 12:15 PM

Read the latest, have you, about Nicole Kidman?

They're calling her "Spider-Mom" now.
(Senoufou, you can stop reading now.)

She was minding her children around the swimming pool, and
an uninvited guest showed up ...
a tarantula.

She captured this on a cell-phone video,
and put it online.
The tarantula was safely released well away from the swimming pool
and the shrieking children.
You go, Nicole.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 31 Jul 18 - 12:59 PM

Gaaaaaaah keberoxu!!!!! I'd have plunged to the bottom of the pool and stayed there until The Thing had been removed to a distance of about a million light years from me.

There was a photo on Yahoo news yesterday of a beautiful python that had escaped from someone's house and crept through a neighbour's window. She woke to find it curled up beside her in bed! It was fairly small (a metre long) I'd not have been afraid, merely concerned for the poor thing. But I suppose it could have coiled around a baby and crushed it.

We seem to have been invaded by very small moths. They're everywhere. Hope they're not those wool-eating things - they make giant holes in carpets and demolish woolly jumpers etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Jos
Date: 31 Jul 18 - 01:22 PM

I have been watching the white butterflies playing happily in the sunshine - and then carefully removing their eggs from the undersides of the nasturtium leaves. I do feel rather mean, but there have been so many eggs that if I left them the caterpillars would starve in any case once they had destroyed the plants.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 31 Jul 18 - 01:44 PM

We only get our bins emptied every two weeks, and in the great heat, flies have been buzzing around in their hundreds, laying eggs on and around the bins.
When I opened one the other day, I gasped - I've never seen so many big fat maggots in my life!

I don't mind them though. I just emptied out the contents on to the parched lawn, retrieved the actual rubbish, giving it a good shake, and left the maggots on the grass. Within seconds, it was like that Hitchcock film The Birds.

The poor blackbirds, starlings, robins etc were delighted to have such a great feast, and hoovered the lot up immediately.

We've been putting out all sorts of scraps during the drought, but those maggots must have been like Christmas for them!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 31 Jul 18 - 02:22 PM

A post more pertinent than that,
to a Varmints thread,
I have never seen in the whole of my life.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Jul 18 - 06:54 PM

Nobody collects our bins. My choice is either to put my bags at the top of the lane, three-quarters of a mile away, or just leave them in the boot (trunk) and take them to the dump six miles away. I have been doing the latter for 25 years as I hate to see my rubbish flying around all over the place, liberated by foxes, gulls and magpies. I've rarely had maggots in my four bins but recently I've had varmints trying to chew their way through the lids. I suspect foxes, which I often see round here, rather than rats, which I haven't seen for years (I know, that don't mean a thang...). I like living with varmints rather than competing with them, but I suppose we all have limits. In the last two days I've rescued by hand a huge bush cricket and a big hawk moth, both of which had been "terrorising" Mrs Steve. They are now happily outdoors!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: JennieG
Date: 01 Aug 18 - 03:12 AM

Nicole is an Aussie girl. We have Huntsman spiders in Oz (and other parts of the world), she was probably used to them when she was growing up here before fame and fortune beckoned OS. Don't click on the blicky if you don't like spiders.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 01 Aug 18 - 06:01 AM

Gaaaaaaaagh!!! Why did I click on that after your kind warning!!!

There was a huge spider in our bedroom this morning. There have been warnings about the spiders getting very big this year (no idea why)
I screamed the place down and husband calmly picked it up gently and put it outside. He's my absolute hero.

I hate silly women who scream, but it's beyond my control. Snake - yes. mouse/rat - yes. Spider - AAAAAAAAAAAGH!



Steve, why doesn't your local council take responsibility for your rubbish collection? We think two weeks isn't often enough, but never? Well....!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Jos
Date: 01 Aug 18 - 06:11 AM

"There have been warnings about the spiders getting very big this year (no idea why)"

This happens EVERY year - the warnings, I mean.

Spiders get big every year and they become more visible as the summer progresses, and journalists like to scare their listeners/readers/viewers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Aug 18 - 07:52 AM

They do, Senoufou, but I'd have to take it up to the main road, as I live in a house on a farm a long way down a twisty concrete lane. I have to load it all into my boot, so I may as well leave it in there and take it to the tip when I'm going into town anyway to do some shopping. I've been doing it for about twenty years, after years of seeing a regular horrid mess at the main road caused by varmints ripping the bags open. There's a bottle bank and paper bank, etc., at the dump so I can do me recycling bit while I'm at it.

"Hey, Lone Ranger, where are you going with that car full of rubbish?"

"To the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump..."


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Aug 18 - 08:40 AM

"...And what time will you be going to the dump, Lone Ranger?"


"Ten to ten, ten to ten, ten to ten ten ten..."



I'll get me coat...


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 01 Aug 18 - 10:24 AM

I like living with varmints rather than competing with them, but I suppose we all have limits.

Sure... Rats. I even like them in some ways (seem intelligent and adaptable) but when (and even in spite of a roof upgrade a couple of years back), they get in the roof space, one exceptionally bad year, did destroy apples on a tree and our sampling of sweet corn, we can wind up with pest control and an all out war. Don't enjoy it and it doesn't happen every year but things can go that far here.

One creature I did feel bad about killing a few years back was a European hornet in the house. I do react (only that I need antihistamine to bring the swelling down) to stings and may have got into a "giant wasp" scared mode, but I now believe they are not "just out to get you" aggressive. Did also, and the first time since then, see one in the house this year but this time round opened a window and allowed it a safe escape.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 01 Aug 18 - 12:58 PM

There seem to be a lot of wasp nests around this year. They're wonderfully constructed - the wasps rasp away at bits of wood (and our garden bench!) to get a papery substance, then mould it into a football-shaped construction.

It must be difficult if one has allergies to stings though.

I try to live-and-let-live with all creatures great and small.
I actually think rats are quite sweet, with their long whiskers and scaly tails. But of course, nobody wants Weil's disease.

My neighbour in our last village had a colony of blooming rats in her loft, and they chewed through the electric wiring (I don't know why exactly) The Pest Control chap left poison for them, and later the stench from their rotting corpses was dire. Her husband had to crawl through the loft space trying to find the decomposing critters and get them out. Yuk!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 02 Aug 18 - 03:52 PM

Steve [Shaw],
what happened to the stray cat whom you saw a number of times
when it was bitterly cold outside?


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Aug 18 - 04:36 PM

It's still around. It won't let anyone get anywhere near it. It looks a bit better fed than it did in winter. Tough little tyke, eh? I have a bag of pussycat treats to hand but, so far, I haven't been able to tempt it to within thirty feet of me. And most cats love me to bits!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 02 Aug 18 - 04:50 PM

Wow! The good news is that the poor thing survived the winter.

Do you know yet what gender it is?


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: robomatic
Date: 04 Aug 18 - 09:10 PM

I am a squirrel feeder. Not a squirrel eater. I once listened to an office mate talk about what a good sharpshooter his wife was. She was able to pick off squirrels from a distance great enough that they weren't aware what was happening to them, so she was able to pot many of them at a sitting. I don't think they were for the pot, just the pot-shot.
We have grays in Alaska and I like watching them in the trees around my house. I recently saw a BBC special on "super squirrels" and I recommend it. From northern flying squirrels to American grays to saving the beleaguered 'reds' in the U.K. Apparently there was a time when squirrels were popular in America as pets.

Then came rabies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: JennieG
Date: 05 Aug 18 - 02:11 AM

Squirrels have kept us amused at their antics on our visits to Canada (didn't see any in Alaska though) because they don't live in Oz. On our last visit three years ago I took on the challenge of trying to photograph one, and managed to get two pictures - one grey squirrel, and one black. They move very quickly, and a blurry pic is useless.

Unless one is trying to be teddibly artistique.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Charmion
Date: 05 Aug 18 - 05:31 PM

The fence behind our house seems to function as a stretch of the squirrel version of the Trans-Canada Highway. When the cats repair to the patio door and settle down like kids in front of the television, we know that traffic has picked up. The local population seems to be about evenly divided between the grey and the black; to the best of my knowledge, they are all of the same species.

As well as the squirrels, we have a rabbit colony and at least one local family of raccoons. In winter, the tracks across our deck look like a diagram from "Scouting for Boys".


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Aug 18 - 04:32 AM

As far as I'm concerned, here in Cornwall the only good grey squirrel is a dead grey squirrel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Donuel
Date: 08 Aug 18 - 08:11 AM

Squirrels can live to be about 20 years old. Great Danes live short lives of 7 years.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Aug 18 - 06:03 AM

King Canute was a great Dane and he lived to forty.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 09 Aug 18 - 06:16 AM

Something keeps biting me during the night. My lower legs and feet have several lumps and itch like anything. I have a duvet, but I suspect I poke my legs outside of it while asleep. Husband has nothing similar.

Do you think it could be....a giant SPIDER or something???

(piercing screams - old lady seen sprinting down to the bridge where she chucks herself into the river Wensum)


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Aug 18 - 06:18 AM

Mozzies. Pain in the neck and elsewhere this year.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 09 Aug 18 - 12:22 PM

Nah, not mozzies Steve. These bites are ginormous. Big lumpy things with a white ring around the edge.

I'm sure it's a giant spider.

Poor husband has pulled out all the furniture and hoovered with the nozzle, but he hasn't found anything untoward.

I reckon The Thing comes in through our ever-open windows at night, feeds off my feet then creeps out again at dawn.
One morning I'll wake up with the bottom half of my legs gnawed off...


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 09 Aug 18 - 06:21 PM

One person's varmint is, I suppose, another person's sentient being.

Take toads.
One Mudcatter reports that the summer heat has prompted a local toad
to patronize her dogs' water dish outdoors.
Because toads taste terrible, the dogs leave the toad in peace.
I just wonder, wouldn't the water taste like toads
after a toad sat in the dog dish?


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 02:40 AM

I'd have thought so keberoxu. They have glands on their necks which exude a poisonous substance. And their skin is known to deter predators, so I imagine the dog's water dish would be pretty revolting.

The common toad has the Latin name Bufo bufo (Sounds like Boris Johnson!)

While the common frog is called Rana temporaria, as if it's not planning to hang around for long..


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Jos
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 03:58 AM

"Rana temporaria" - maybe it isn't planning to be a frog for very long.

If you kiss one it just MIGHT turn into a handsome prince.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 05:58 AM

Hahaha Jos! In our last house we had a very large wildlife pond, with numerous frogs, newts, dragonflies and Hissing Sid (grass snake) as visitors. Sadly, none of the Rana temporaria showed any signs of being a handsome prince in disguise.

The Clandestine Foot-Biter seems to have given up on me. Perhaps it feels I haven't much blood left (only too true!), and has gone next door to try our neighbours' veins. Or maybe the torrential rain we had all day yesterday has persuaded it to hibernate early.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Thompson
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 06:16 AM

Perhaps you've become immune to the foot-biter. I met someone in Greece who was totally immune to the vicious mosquitoes that had me raised up in multiple huge pus-filled lumps - but who said that on a visit to Cuba, the mosquitoes there had the same effect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 07:48 AM

That's very interesting Thompson.

African mozzies absolutely adore me. If I wasn't very strict about anti-malarial tablets, I'd have died long ago from malaria (in spite of mosquito nets and deet etc)
.
I've heard that some folk don't react too much to insect bites, whereas others, like yourself, suffer terribly and the bites get infected etc.

We have a rather odd Norfolk species of horseflies (clegs). One of my colleagues once had to go to hospital, as the bites caused both her legs to swell alarmingly. She was called Mrs Skeggs.

The children soon heard all about it, and chanted, "Mrs Skeggs was bitten by clegs all over her legs!" Little blighters! (the children, not the clegs)


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Donuel
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 02:55 PM

We have West Nile infected mosquitos ever since a Walter Reed lab experimented with them and surprise... two got loose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 13 Aug 18 - 03:20 AM

That's very worrying Donuel. Having endured an absolute scorcher of a summer, we were just discussing yesterday the possibility of exotic (and maybe undesirable) creatures migrating from foreign climes, managing to survive/breed here and causing problems. Anopheles mozzies for example.

Now the weather has eased a bit (rain and not so hot) the wretched SPIDERS have started to come into the house. I went into the utility room late last night (I may have been fetching some dairy ice cream from the freezer, but don't tell a soul) and there on the wall by the door was... well, as the song goes, "I've never seen one as big as that before...!"
Ice cream forgotten, I ran screeching to fetch my noble husband (he always manages not to sigh resignedly, bless him) and The Thing was put outside. But I know only too well, there will be more...


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Aug 18 - 05:23 AM

Spiders are wonderful, useful beasts that won't seek you out, not in the UK at any rate. They are actually quite beautiful in their own way. Sneak up on a garden orb-web spider in its web and take a close-up, or look at it through a magnifying glass. It won't go for you and will just scuttle away if you accidentally disturb it. They look gorgeous and their webs are works of art, never more beautiful than on a dewy morning. I admit that indoor spiders can leave scruffy remnants of webs around that make it look like you've been neglecting the house, but that's the most harm that U.K. spiders will ever do. And they'll happily hoover up your silverfish and other annoying bugs that inhabit your house. Even the odd mozzie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 13 Aug 18 - 06:01 AM

You're quite right Steve of course. And I'm thoroughly ashamed of myself. I'm passionately interested in all forms of life on the Planet, and a member of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust. I flatter myself that I know quite a bit about our native wildlife (flora and fauna) and feel very protective of it all.

But when it's a case of a phobia, there's no logic about it whatsoever. And no amount of advice, information or admonishment (my father used to smack me soundly for screaming at spiders!) makes any difference.

My husband is gentle and doesn't hurt the spiders. He just folds his hand around them (shudder) and sets them free in the garden.

Gaaaaaaagh!! I bet they laugh all their eight socks off and head straight back indoors.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Aug 18 - 06:10 AM

Do they home?

I sometimes have to catch mice, using a humane trap. I've discovered that if you release them anywhere near home they promptly return. I now drive them at least three miles away (got to be as the crow flies) before letting them go with a stiff bollocking.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 13 Aug 18 - 06:17 AM

In our last house Steve, I used a humane trap to catch mice. One had a little white patch of fur on his back, and the number of times I caught him are beyond telling.
I used peanuts as bait, and I reckon he came back for more!
I like mice though, sweet little things.

I always find that when one Big Spider is put outside, a second one emerges soon after. My husband calls them 'Monsieur et Madame Arraignée'!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Jos
Date: 13 Aug 18 - 06:18 AM

My son was working at a house where he came across a large spider. He carefully took it to the end of the garden and released it.
It set off back up the path to the house ahead of him.

Apparently snails also have a homing instinct - but I take them to the meadows on the other side of the river, in the hope that they won't be able to find the footbridge to come back.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Aug 18 - 07:12 AM

Seriously, releasing mice anywhere near your home, even within a couple of miles, is useless. And mice in the house are far more of a threat to your health than spiders in this country. .


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 13 Aug 18 - 08:16 AM

These were little field mice Steve, (huge eyes, big round ears) which our cats would bring in alive to 'play' with. (also rats, shrews, slow worms, almost anything that might provide a 'bit of fun'. Ghastly of them, I know.)

The poor things would squeeze under the door of our dining room and hide in there, where the five cats couldn't get at them.

I once found a huge rat clinging to the back of our tall fridge. There was a pile of rat poo under him, so he'd obviously been there a while.
I pushed the entire fridge towards the back door and it scuttled off.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 13 Aug 18 - 04:32 PM

Verily, this varmint thread
is fruitful, and multiplies.


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Mudcat time: 16 August 10:22 PM EDT

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