Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Critters abound...

...in our back yard. There are birds everywhere - in the trees, perching precariously on a bamboo support next to the poor dogwood tree (crisped in the last heat wave), swooping down to peck at black sunflower seeds from the feeder on the back deck or just rambling on the grass, hoping to find a worm. I've learned to identify several species without needing to grab the Sibley's and frantically search for a photo that look similar to what I'm seeing out the window, and to appreciate the characteristics that differentiate one from the other.


Two (we hope it's just two) new denizens have joined the birds in our back yard, neither welcome nor appreciated.

There's a gopher digging burrows in all of the flower beds, and worse, a rat living high on the hog thanks to the bird seed that drops onto the back deck from that feeder.

We've agreed that the gopher can stay as long as it doesn't start digging up the grass, although we did buy a trap a few days ago, just in case.

But RATS??!! AARRGGHH, no!!!

So, much as I hate the thought of doing this, we'll be placing rat poison under the back deck and in the storage area under the house, in hopes of killing it (them?) off.

See, I still remember seeing a TV show about a doctor, starring McDonald Carey (Google him, if you don't know who he was) all about bubonic plague caused by rats. I still remember lying in bed, designing strategies for running from my bedroom into my parents' bedroom without being bitten, just in case I woke one night to find the room filled with raging rats, intent on infecting me with the Black Death. That show scared the hell out of me back then, and that fear lives on today, five decades later (thanks a LOT McDonald Carey!). So -- no rats in our back yard, please??


Char said...

I think I remember the film! And I know who Mr. Carey is/was. He did one of the soap operas for a while. So you have a gopher...we apparently have moles. Mounds of dirt just appear in our flower beds. So far they've done no damage and the plants don't seem to mind!

Libbi said...

Yep. We figure the mounds of dirt have been aerated beautifully, so we'll let our gopher live to dig another day!

Zack said...

But is the rat doing anything bad? D:

Libbi said...

Hmmm. Good question.

Possibly not, but where there's ONE rat, there tends to be a lot of rats ('cause they, um, breed, y'know?).

When we bought our house, there was a flood after a particularly heavy rainstorm, and we discovered that rats had burrowed under a long drainage tube that ran from the street to an underground well, effectively removing the support under the thing, and causing it to break in half. I figure it doesn't hurt to discourage them from taking up residence in the yard.