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Monday, March 19, 2012

Gophers 3, Lance 0 #15

First fully flowered tree
Do you remember a movie call The Money Pit? I thought it was pretty funny. No, we didn't buy a money pit but we are finding out things we hadn't thought about or paid attention to before we put our name on the line. And of course, they cost money. Of which we have little.

First of all, we're city folk so yeah, we were ignorant about a few things. We lost electricity during the recent snow storm. Didn't think about losing water or toilets. Well, maybe Lance had thought about it, but we hadn't actually talked it out. Now the guys are looking at options such as hand pumps and generators. Chi-ching!

Same tree 48 hours later
The inspection report said the windows opened roughly. Oh ha! Most of them didn't open at all. Nor did they lock shut. But since it took a 300 pound muscle guy to open them, the locking part was hardly a problem. After some investigation, Frank discovered they were all missing their guides and badly needed lubrication. A small chi-ching!

Field work suspended due to...snow?
Now this last hidden expense was really hidden. After a couple of days, we managed to clear enough land to see we had gophers. They're the cutest little things that stick their heads up out of their holes and sing "na-na-na you can't catch me!" They're called pocket gophers. Lance and our house guest, Scott, have declared war. First they tried flushing them out with water. Useless. Then they bought a bunch of traps and followed the guy's instructions on how to set them. On four different holes, the gophers filled in the trapped hole with dirt and dug a new tunnel three inches from the trapped tunnel. A couple of days ago, Lance and Scott put bubble gum and juicy fruit gum down the holes. Some urban legend about the gophers eating the gum and croaking. So far it's gophers 3, Lance and Scott 0.

14 comments:

  1. I'm sure you've seen the movie, Caddyshack. That should tell you how hard it is to kill a gopher. LOL Sorry for laughing, but the mental image of your son on a quest to stop gophers is hilarious!

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  2. Seen it. Yep, funny. I know this could be serious probs for our yet to be crops, but the whole war is kind of comical!

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  3. Jannine, I had the same mental image from Caddyshack. LOL Sorry, Brenda. I know it's not a laughing matter. We have had unbelievable weather in MN. Summer has arrived, although, today is more like spring. Sorry to hear about the hidden 'cha-ching's.' Not what a person wants or needs. Another fun post.

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    1. Thanks, Jody. Can't believe we have the snow and you have the early summer!

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  4. Great post, Brenda. I'm from Florida, so I can't relate to the snow, but we have our problems too. When you mentioned living without water and toilets it reminded me of when a hurricane knocked out our power for a couple of weeks. Our newborn granddaughter was staying with us. What a mess, trying to keep her fed and clean. Good luck with the gophers and keep us posted.

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    1. No water is always troublesome. I'm glad we don't have hurricanes to deal with. Thanks.

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  5. I always enjoy your posts. I can just see my two grown sons battling the gophers and I can only imagine how much I'd laugh.

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  6. The first time we stayed in our house was Christmas 2000. We invited some friends to stay for New Year and almost immediately the solar battery failed. No lights, no pump for water. We had to fetch water by hand and throw buckets of it down the toilets. We charged the battery but it still didn't work. Only later did we discover that all we had to do was disconnect and reconnect and voila! It worked.
    It seems a shame to kill the gophers. They sound MUCH more intelligent than a lot of people I know!

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    1. That's a little funny about disconnecting and reconnecting. And you're right about the gophers. Wish we could just divert them to the empty part of the property and they could eat all the weeds and unwanted grass.

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  7. My husband and I had the Great Gopher battle of 2006, when construction started on all the empty fields and the gophers moved to our front and back yard. We also tried all the "dumb-guy" stuff, including wasting water in a vain attempt to drown them. We tried those gopher smoke bombs and managed to choke the entire street. And then we tried the traps, with the same amount of sucess...they just filled the traps with dirt and dug a new tunnel.

    Then we did a little research. You never see the actual gophers during the day, only the little mound of dirt, because they are mostly blind. They can see light but work better in the dark where they use their noses and claws. What we did then changed the game in our favor. Using the traps, what your boys need to do is place the trap into the hole and approx 2-3 inches inside the actual tunnel (with the spikes pointed into the tunnel)....then pile all excess dirt that the gophers have so kindly left around for you into the hole, making sure there is no light showing. They can "see" the trap if you leave light and will just pile dirt inside....BUT if you don't leave them a light source then they just run head-long into the trap in their effort to re-open the caved in exit hole. We killed every single one of our gophers that way.

    Hope that helps. Happy hunting and let me know how it goes.

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    1. Wow, Kelly. That's a great idea. He said he'd try it!

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  8. I hope it works as well for you as it did for us.

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