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BS: Varmints

keberoxu 15 Oct 18 - 12:06 PM
Senoufou 15 Oct 18 - 04:01 AM
keberoxu 14 Oct 18 - 06:34 PM
Senoufou 27 Sep 18 - 04:09 AM
keberoxu 26 Sep 18 - 07:04 PM
keberoxu 25 Sep 18 - 06:34 PM
Charmion 24 Sep 18 - 09:57 AM
Donuel 24 Sep 18 - 08:45 AM
Senoufou 23 Sep 18 - 02:32 PM
keberoxu 23 Sep 18 - 01:46 PM
Senoufou 22 Sep 18 - 04:02 AM
keberoxu 21 Sep 18 - 02:24 PM
Senoufou 03 Sep 18 - 03:57 AM
Jos 03 Sep 18 - 03:39 AM
keberoxu 02 Sep 18 - 05:07 PM
keberoxu 01 Sep 18 - 08:37 PM
keberoxu 13 Aug 18 - 04:32 PM
Senoufou 13 Aug 18 - 08:16 AM
Steve Shaw 13 Aug 18 - 07:12 AM
Jos 13 Aug 18 - 06:18 AM
Senoufou 13 Aug 18 - 06:17 AM
Steve Shaw 13 Aug 18 - 06:10 AM
Senoufou 13 Aug 18 - 06:01 AM
Steve Shaw 13 Aug 18 - 05:23 AM
Senoufou 13 Aug 18 - 03:20 AM
Donuel 10 Aug 18 - 02:55 PM
Senoufou 10 Aug 18 - 07:48 AM
Thompson 10 Aug 18 - 06:16 AM
Senoufou 10 Aug 18 - 05:58 AM
Jos 10 Aug 18 - 03:58 AM
Senoufou 10 Aug 18 - 02:40 AM
keberoxu 09 Aug 18 - 06:21 PM
Senoufou 09 Aug 18 - 12:22 PM
Steve Shaw 09 Aug 18 - 06:18 AM
Senoufou 09 Aug 18 - 06:16 AM
Steve Shaw 09 Aug 18 - 06:03 AM
Donuel 08 Aug 18 - 08:11 AM
Steve Shaw 06 Aug 18 - 04:32 AM
Charmion 05 Aug 18 - 05:31 PM
JennieG 05 Aug 18 - 02:11 AM
robomatic 04 Aug 18 - 09:10 PM
keberoxu 02 Aug 18 - 04:50 PM
Steve Shaw 02 Aug 18 - 04:36 PM
keberoxu 02 Aug 18 - 03:52 PM
Senoufou 01 Aug 18 - 12:58 PM
Jon Freeman 01 Aug 18 - 10:24 AM
Steve Shaw 01 Aug 18 - 08:40 AM
Steve Shaw 01 Aug 18 - 07:52 AM
Jos 01 Aug 18 - 06:11 AM
Senoufou 01 Aug 18 - 06:01 AM

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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 15 Oct 18 - 12:06 PM

And talking of varmints:

"First actual case of bug being found."


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 15 Oct 18 - 04:01 AM

Same with the blooming spiders keberoxu. They're creeping in through every slightly-open window. Husband is being kept busy removing them and gently putting them outside, but I'm sure they just turn round and head back in once he goes indoors.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 14 Oct 18 - 06:34 PM

Mid-October, the night are heading down to frost.
And, in time, freeze.

So this is what I call
"The Moths' Last Gasp."

At this transition of the seasons,
in the evening and through the night,
the moths will be attracted, as never before,
to the doors into my apartment building.
They are after not only light but warmth.
One has to be really careful heading in or out.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 27 Sep 18 - 04:09 AM

We get mushrooms all growing in a circle. It's called a 'fairy ring'. We were told as children that they grew where fairies danced in a circle. (I personally thought this was terribly 'wet' and never believed it!)

The reason for mushrooms growing along a line or a circle is that they're probably feeding off an old tree root, or their mycelium is spreading outwards symmetrically.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 26 Sep 18 - 07:04 PM

Then, today, I drive my car past a grassy slope
and am startled to observe
a single line of tall mushrooms :
they grow forming a single line DOWN the slope in the grass.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 25 Sep 18 - 06:34 PM

Just recalled the phrase,
"there's a fungus among us."

But a fungus, I suppose, is no varmint.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Charmion
Date: 24 Sep 18 - 09:57 AM

Whenever I find a bat in the house, I open a window and get out of the way. That usually does the job.

The church my family attended back in the '60s had a huge pipe organ that housed a colony of bats. The sexton, a large man name of Kenward, caught them by means of a tennis racquet and a dustpan, with which he had developed a surprising dexterity.

They made their most dramatic appearances after the Sunday morning anthem, blown out of the long pipes by the organist's choice of an infrequently used sound effect. I remember one drifting groggily out of the decani-side pipe loft, behind and over the Arch-Deacon's head as he reached the high point of his sermon. The ever-vigilant Kenward nabbed it in the west side aisle with barely a flutter of his cassock, much to the approval of the boys in the choir.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Donuel
Date: 24 Sep 18 - 08:45 AM

I had a midnight blue car that would attract dragon flies . Maybe they thought it was a small body of water.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 23 Sep 18 - 02:32 PM

Artibeus jamaicensus is called the Jamaican or Mexican fruit bat, so you're quite right keberoxu.
They look very sweet too. We had one or two pipistrelle bats in our last house coming through the bedroom window and getting tangled in our net curtains. Tiny little things. I gently enveloped them in a tea towel and helped them outside.
All bats are protected here, and it's illegal to kill them. I really like them.
But NOT blooming spiders! :(


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 23 Sep 18 - 01:46 PM

I just learned something new today:

I always called them Mexican fruit bats,
because the Texans call them that (they migrate through Texas).
But they are also known
as Jamaican fruit bats.

Now, there are some musical possibilities ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 22 Sep 18 - 04:02 AM

Those possums look really sweet.

I'm sorry to have to announce that the Spider Season is in full swing. The weather has changed dramatically, with high winds and heavy rain, and it's much chillier. So our eight-legged 'friends' (not) have decided it's time to move in with the Humans.

There was an absolute whopper in out utility room a few days ago. I mean, so large it was Morris dancing wearing eight clogs. Husband put it outside, big black hairy thing. (not my husband, I mean the spider)
I'm in a constant state of alert after that, scanning the walls, peering under the bed, scared to put my bedside light out. Gah!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 21 Sep 18 - 02:24 PM

It's 'possum time!

Opossum during a pro (American) football game


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 03 Sep 18 - 03:57 AM

Ah, we get so many different dragonflies and damselflies here in early summer, hawkers, emperors and many others. There's even a Norfolk Dragonfly (Aeschna isosceles).

Our little village is in the Wensum valley with a string of small ponds and lakes. (the river Wensum, Sparham Pools and so on)

That's why we get all sorts of water fowl too, geese, ducks, swans, parading along our main street. I reckon they're looking for the pub!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Jos
Date: 03 Sep 18 - 03:39 AM

Some people think dragonflies are poisonous. They are not (though their larvae might be dangerous if you happen to be a tadpole).
According to a recent BBC Radio 4 programme about adders, people used to believe they could change to and from being adders/vipers - an ancient form of shape-shifting? So this could account for the mistaken belief that they are poisonous.

Apparently, people also used to believe that barnacle geese hatched from barnacles, and therefore counted as fish so you could eat them on a Friday.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 02 Sep 18 - 05:07 PM

They aren't pests, or anything, but there are so many of them
at the moment that I do stop and stare at them:

Dragonflies. Hovering and darting about everywhere!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 01 Sep 18 - 08:37 PM

. . . that is, until it doesn't.


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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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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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 06:01 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 - 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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 - 06:03 AM

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


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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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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