Nature Explorer

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February 10, 2012

Filed under: Gardening — explorergarden @ 5:49 am

Gophers again. In some spots, my yard looks like swiss cheese. But  since I haven’t actually seen the gopher, I ‘m kind of pretending it’s not happening.  Yes, I am in denial. But I am also gathering information.

This is what folks tell me:

Rick says: You have to get tough with them! You have to think of yourself as a farmer. Either they get your crops, or your family does.

Jiminy Cricket (in my head): Oh, my!

The California Native Plant Society  list serve: Don’t use chemicals to get rid of them  — no surprise there. Poisons get into the food chain and kill everything around — all our lovely hawks and owls. The CNPS members sometimes suggest using gopher traps, setting up owl boxes or posts for hawks.

So, that may be what we do next. Owl box. Hawk perch.

I actually did buy a trap, but they are not so easy to use. First you have to find where the gopher’s tunnel goes. That means digging up your yard. Then you find where the tunnel makes a T in different directions — more digging. That’s where you are supposed to put the trap. Then you dig the tunnel wider so the trap will fit, and figure out how to prop up a trap without hurting yourself. Then you tie a string to the trap, and tie the other end to a post so it doesn’t get pulled into the hole by a tricky gopher (this trick  courtesy of Rick). Then you wait. Needless to say, I haven’t gotten through all these steps yet. I think the owl box, or the hawk perch sounds easier. We already have hawks around as I mentioned in a previous post.

I’m beginning to feel like Elmer Fudd — which was, prophetically, my first Halloween costume, when I was four years old — a giant Elmer Fudd head with my legs sticking out the bottom. Who would have guessed I’d still be after those Wascaly Wodents so many years later.




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