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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
Stilly River Sage 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
Stilly River Sage 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
Stilly River Sage 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
Stilly River Sage 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

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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: Stilly River Sage
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: Stilly River Sage
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: Stilly River Sage
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: Stilly River Sage
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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