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Pet People

Friday, October 12, 2007

Voles, Friends or Foes by Skeeter

A Vole (pictured above) is any burrowing rodent with a blunt snout, small ears and short limbs. They are found throughout North America. There are 45 species of Voles commonly referred to as field mice. The Mole is another burrowing rodent but they mainly eat grubs and worms while the Vole eats roots to plants and flowers amongst other prized garden items.

Aren’t they cut little critters? Don’t let their cute little furry bodies fool you! They are the most destructive things in our yard to include the pesky squirrel…

The Voles tunnel to our plants and flowers and eat the bulbs and roots thus making me very upset with them. As an animal lover of all critters, this little creature has put me into a dilemma. What is an animal lover and gardener lover to do?

We stomp down the tunnels to no avail. The next day those little diggers have a new tunnel to stomp! I was so mad at them that I was ready for combat! The Saint and I were hanging a bird house into a tree when I spotted one coming out of a hole. The Saint was up on the ladder when I spotted this little furry thing. I yelled, “A vole, a vole. I am going to kill that thing!” Well, I tried to kill it by stomping on it. I was hopping around on one foot with the other one high into the air but I did not have it in me to stomp the lucky critter. I was holding something in hand that would do the deed but again, I could not smash the cute little thing! I yelled to the Saint, “You kill it, you kill it!” Off the ladder my hero came to my rescue. He too did not have it within the being of his soul to kill the little cute thing. After all, the Vole was only doing what he was put here to do. Live his little life!

Quick thinking me, ran to the house as the Saint had him cornered by some stones. I grabbed a plastic container and we caught the little frightened thing. We carefully took him across the street into the woods and let him go. We both laughed as we figured he had probably beaten us back to the yard!

We have since caught several of the little things and drove them to fields near the woods so they can continue life. So when it comes to animal against human beast, these two beasts are merely lovable two legged Wimps!

This morning I had two Moles or Voles in bed with me after the Saint left for work! The girls got a whiff of that cool air (46 degrees) coming in through the open bedroom window and they shimmied their way under the covers for warmth! They are currently eating up the sunbeam shining in through the sun-room windows!

Second picture is of my favorite Voles being Cheetah and Sheba. To see Sheba, you must look to the bump on the left of Cheetah! Sheba loves to hide under the covers to nap. Cheetah only does this when we have company in the house to hide from or during cold days in the winter. Do any of your cats do this strange hiding under the bed covers? Skeeter did that also for hours upon hours at a time...

posted by Skeeter at 10/12/2007 11:38:00 AM


Blogger pearcehart said...

At one point in my idealistic years, I had a garden. I planted all kinds of yummy things including Japanese eggplant for my mom. They are similar to regualr eggplant except the Japanse variety are long and thin like a cucumber. So, I planted them and one day as I was happily tending my garden I say one plant after another disappear into the ground. The gophers in California LOVE eggplant. I tried to drive them away... tried smoking them out, water, but like you, I couldn't kill them out right. Heck, I had tomato horn worms on my tomato plants that my dad picked off for me and squished with his foot. I squished one and was horrified to hear it crunch. After that, I couldn't do it anymore. Needless to say, after one harvest, I gave up. I was outgunned, outsmarted, and outnumbered.

Interestingly, my barn cats at the time would hunt the gophers and I would find little heads and livers left of them. They ate everything but those things.

Friday, October 12, 2007 8:49:00 PM  
Blogger Birdie said...

Last night I made my bed and Birdie came into the bedroom ready to put her "pj's" on, too. She jumped on the bed and snuck under the covers. Socks also appeared and saw "something" walking under the covers... he didn't know what it was and started to pounce on it. All you could see was a little walking sausage under the covers trying to make her way out of the blankets. It was a funny thing to watch. =)
Birdie likes to lay next to me at night, and she also likes to have some covers and a little corner of the pillow to lay her head on.

Friday, October 12, 2007 11:36:00 PM  
Blogger tina said...

Hi Skeeter,
Yes I do love this story! It is very informative as I did not know how many varieties there were of those terrible voles. I hate them most in my garden as I have lost a lot of plants. My dogs sniff them out and actually kill them for me. One day BJ found one in between two pots in the yard. I knew what he was after and slowly pulled the pots apart so he could get to it. The thing jumped onto my pants and I was hilariously jumping up and down trying to shake it off and yelling at the dog to get it! Those voles can really cling when their lives are threatened! He finally did get it once I shook it loose. Never saw a dog mouse hunt like BJ. CeCe brings me the moles which is good. Moles don't eat the plants just dig pesky tunnels but that too can be damaging. We gardeners make rodents lives so happy when we mulch and plant their favorite foods I guess we only have ourselves to blame?

I found this product called "Mole and Gopher Repellent" at Lowes. It is in a yellow bag and is not supposed to contain any poisons. I sprinkled it around the nandinas the voles had decimated, the rain soaked it in and I stomped the ground down. It worked! Or at least it seemed too as I had no further problems. Yes, I agree with you-those critters are sometimes beating us at our own games and it is a good thing the Saint did not fall off that ladder in his haste to rescue you!

Saturday, October 13, 2007 8:18:00 AM  
Blogger tina said...

Pearcehart, I liked your story about the hornworms. Did you know they squeal? I had some pruning shears in my hands when I came across a few on my plants. I cut into one and it actually squealed! It was horrifying and I have not done it since. I just drop the pests into a bucket of soapy water. It was really weird. I have heard of Japanese eggplant before, do they taste different?

Saturday, October 13, 2007 8:21:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

This morning Sheba was in her best "Y'all get out of bed" mode. The Saint just knew her food bowl needed more added. I knew better. The Saint got up and added food to the bowl. I told him that is not what she wants but does he listen to me, not often... Once the Saint joined me back in the warm bed, she joined us again and again, walking all over us. Finally I had enough as the Saint snored in his happily manner. I got up and sure enough, there sat Sheba on the Bathroom sink waiting for her fresh drink of water to be turned on... I stayed up and started to read the morning paper, soon the Saint came dragging in to join me. He said, "I give up, Sheba won and got me out of bed". My reply was, "Now I reckon she is in the warm bed under the covers", Well of course she is... Mommy knows her girl. And as I type this, she remains under those warm covers in bed....

This morning I saw Kie the warrior dog (Rhodesian ridgeback) from next door tying to hump one of his two female puppy’s. They got them for him to marry and have puppy’s so we can sell them! (Their words not mine) Arggg. I think the pups are too young and the human idiots are obviously in anticipation of the first brood of pups so they can make some money over there… argggggg… Their 7 year old daughter told me yesterday that her May Birthday geese are gone. The Saint and I were right on that prediction, the puppy’s killed them both! Who in their right mind buys geese for their child and keeps them on a screened in porch? Those people are pure ding-a-lings! I hate them living next door to me!!!

Saturday, October 13, 2007 8:47:00 AM  
Blogger pearcehart said...

Tina, the Japanese eggplant tastes just the same. I think everything is grown smaller there since they have tiny refrgerators. My mom would chop them up to add to soups and broths as well as make pickles out of them. She used to make this miso paste that was extremely salty and put it in a crock and then bury the eggplant and small cucumbers in them. In a couple of weeks the veggies turned into salty pickles. The Japanese are very much into highly seasoned condiments and pickles I think because rice is very bland. My mom also made 4-alarm kim chee that I couldn't eat because it was just too hot and spicy for me. The rest of my family loved HOT foods. I was the wimp.

My baby Girl (cat) used to sleep under the covers but my current babies prefer to sleep in the open.

Saturday, October 13, 2007 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger tina said...

Hi all,
Skeeter I am so sorry you have such urrrrghhh neighbors! Hopefully they will move sometime? I don't know who in their right mind would buy geese for children and keep them on the porch. Defies common sense but there are a lot of people there can be no explanations made for them except-they are NUTS and live in their own LITTLE world. Now that I got that off my chest.

Pearceheart, that miso paste sounds really good. Was it spicy or just salty? I am like you and don't do spicy well. The Army is crazy about spicy and since I was in Iraq with nothing but spicy food I have developed a huge aversion to spicy foods. I have never had kim-chee but I am with you-wimp or not no spicy food for me! Do you have two cats like Skeeter?

Saturday, October 13, 2007 7:28:00 PM  
Blogger pearcehart said...

Miso has a smoky, salty flavor not hot and spicy.

We have Larry, senior cat, an orange and white large cat, and Scootie, a small black cat, and Herbie, whom we adpted from Cats Are Us. Herbie is a tabby cat with a gimpy back left leg. All three of our boy cats are neutered.

It's funny... first we lost the only girl cat, Trouble and then Aimee, dog princess. I am the only female left in the household. I hope things don't come in three for this.... *insert Twilight Zone music here*

Saturday, October 13, 2007 7:48:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Skeeetre, great story and photos! Samantha was the only one of our girls that loved sleeping under the covers. She started out just liking to sleep cuddled with you and her head on your pillow but as then decided she loved it under the covers. Didn't matter if it was warm weather or not. I used to wonder how she could stand it under there but she loved it!
Now when I make the beds every cat we have ever had and have love to try and get under the top sheets when I am pulling them up over the bottom ones. It becomes a big game for us. The things they think is fun makes you wonder sometimes.

Alice, those pickles sound really good to me. I love pickles and a lot of spicey foods as well. As long as it doesn't have cloves in it, they make me sick to even smell them!

Tina, Fly Boy always said the reason he and the others ( in the Army ) liked spicy stuff so well is that thier food was pretty bland. Now that was more so way back years ago. He said the MRE's are much better than the old stuff but once you get used to spicier things you like that better. He has gotten me to like things hotter and spicier than when we first got married.

Sunday, October 14, 2007 7:48:00 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Birdie, your cat Birdie always reminded me of my Catfish when I'd see her at Cats ARe Us before you adopted her. And Catfish too likes to crawl under the covers and stay there like a big lump! He usually does that when he's scared of something, like noise outside.

Moles and voles! Remember the move Caddyshack? We had a huge problem here with them. The ground would sink when you walked on it from all the tunnels! I read where its usually only one or two that cause all the damage, not at army of them like you'd think.

One time I actually saw a plant SHAKE like there was an earthquake from one of the little buggers eating it from the bottom. I used to have tons of tulips in a bed, but they ate them all.

And one time The Boss tried smoking them with a hose from the lawn mower into one of the holes. That's how we relized how many holes there were, as the smoke came up from the ground all over the yard!

Now the cats hunt and get them if they are in the fenced part of the yard and the dogs too have got a few. And we have the dog-dug holes to prove it!

And of course, not long ago, one of the cats brought one still alive into the apartment to play with and he survived. I just put him back out in the non-fenced area. Couldn't do him in. That's the cats job and if they ain't gonna do it, that's on them!

Sunday, October 14, 2007 9:12:00 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

We don't have a problem with rodents **knock on wood** But I do have a garden full of slugs. They have eaten all my hostas and chew on my ivy and colias. I have burried cups of beer and put salt on them, but they still come back. At this point I have given up. Next year I will look into plants that they don't eat. If there are any.

Sunday, October 14, 2007 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger pearcehart said...

I am disappointed by the finalists pictures in the LC. For all the hoopla about voting on photos, the pictures that were printed aren't very representative of the actual photos...

EXCEPT the one photo on the cover...

the SAME photo that was featured here...

does anyone ELSE smell conspiracy here....

My answers to the questionnaire were also edited... I guess Rainbow Bridge is not politcally correct...


Sunday, October 14, 2007 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Adrienne, I get a 2lb green bag of “Bug-Geta” Snail & Slug killer by Ortho. I find it at Wal-Mart and it works great! I think Lowes carry's it also. The Hostas that survived the winter bulb eating by the Voles, well, the leaves were eaten by the rabbits until I got the stuff from Tractor Supply that you told me about... Next year, I will be ready for them!

Pearceheart, I did not see any pet pictures in the paper as I get the computer version and they did not show up here. But I did see them on the Humane Society Website...

Sunday, October 14, 2007 3:34:00 PM  
Blogger pearcehart said...

That was the problem, Skeeter. The pictures were so small... They could have shown the whole picture so people could see them and vote.

Too bad... it was a great opportunity wasted.

Sunday, October 14, 2007 5:39:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Okay, I must stick up for my fellow copy editors here at the paper.

First of all, I was off Thursday, Friday and Saturday and had nothing to do with any of it!

Secondly, they have to fit everything booked for the day in the pages they have, after all the ads are put on the pages. This is NOT an easy task!If stories we get are TOO LONG for the space we have, we have to cut things and why anything is subject to snip snip. It's also why photos have to be made smaller than we might like. So if text has to be cut from a long list, it's done as best we can, trying to keep the most important.

And when we pick the major piece of art, we have to go with the best picture, or the best quality photo. A lot of the photos submitted were taken from far away, or they might have been to small to work big enough for a cover shot.

In any case, The Leaf-Chronicle has given a lot more space to pets since our redesign last February. If you notice now, the pets of the week are almost always on a color page and they include a lot more description.

So, on behalf of my fellow copy editors, I say WE DO THE BEST WE CAN WITH WHAT WE GOT!!!!!

Sniff. My wittle feelers are hurt. :)

Sunday, October 14, 2007 6:33:00 PM  
Blogger pearcehart said...

I understand how newspaper run. I have a degree in Journalism. I have done paste-up and putting the paper to bed and all that. I was the managing editor of my college paper. I am not commenting on any particular person or job, I am merely saying that if the LC was willing to help raise money by printing the pictures in the paper, they could have done better by printing the WHOLE picture so people can ooh and ahh and VOTE. Many people don't do online. This gives everyone a chance but not the way it turned out.

I'm just saying...

if you think YOUR feelings are hurt, how do you think *I* feel. My picture was butchered! My copy was edited for political correctness!

A job worth doing is worth doing well.

Thanks but no thanks, LC.

I am still looking forward to meeting all of you. As you have no doubt noted, I have strong opinions and I ain't afraid to voice them. Some call me aggressive and other not nice names. Well tuff turkey, that's me! And no, don't ask me to volunteer to do things because I stopped doing that for health reasons and because I hate the way other people do things when my way is better. So I just don't volunteer anymore.

Alice doesn't play well with others, not a team player. Yep! And I am old enough and crotchety enough to be that way.

Have a nice day.

Sunday, October 14, 2007 8:37:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

I was just trying to explain why things like that sometimes happen and didn't know you worked in the field.I didn't mean to upset you, just explain what happened. Sadly, things like that happen and people get upset. Photographers get mad if we cut or crop one of their photos, reporters get upset if we cut some of their story. We copy editors are always making someone mad,cause we're the end of the line and have to make deadline and make it all fit!

I wish the article was put in the community section,there might have been more room for the photos. I too thought they were too small to get a good view of the pets.

Sunday, October 14, 2007 11:51:00 PM  
Blogger pearcehart said...

Sandy, I'm not upset or mad. Life is too short to be mad or upset for long.

Just wanted to share how I saw the situation.

Looking forward to the bash!!!!!


Monday, October 15, 2007 1:55:00 AM  
Blogger B said...


Monday, October 15, 2007 7:52:00 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

don't be hert, it's ok. Alice was just upset over being editied and I don't blame her for that and I know you don't either. I have to say though that even though I voted for Trouble to be loyal, I loved the cover photo they chose to represent the contest. I mean ya'all got to admit that was not a ususal cat pose and it was great! If Alice wasn't in our group here I would have had to have voted for that cat.
I am looking so forward to the Fur Ball! I'm still trying to decide on a costume. I thought of a nurse and just wearing a pair of my old scrubs or nurse's uniforms, does anyone remember when nurses wore uniforms instead of scrubs? It hasn't been all that long ago. Anyway that was too realistic so I've batted around a few more ides and just can't decide yet. ai'll come up with something. Oh Fly Boy says he wants to be Darrell instead of Larry so Sandy, will Glen be Larry? The Saint wants to be The Other Brother Darrell,ha. And do we have a George anywhere?

Monday, October 15, 2007 9:22:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Alice, I recall you saying you were coming to the Fur Ball as a Cat. Sandy, you can come as a Cat and you two can have a Cat Fight! Oh, Wait a minute, I am coming as a cat and y’all might get me involved with the Cat Fight too…. Just joking ladies. I think it is great that women have such strong opinions. It was not that long ago that a Woman was not allowed to have an opinion. In the past I have been known to back down but after being around people with personalities such as you Alice and Sandy, I don’t back down much anymore. At times it embarrasses the Saint when in public and I feel I have been wronged. I will stand up for my self at the expense to ears all around me and don’t give a crap what anyone thinks! Stand Tall Be Proud Ladies of Strength!

My tickets showed up in the mail and I am so ready to have some fun Saturday night! The Saint could be George Utley if you like Pam. He is a “fix-it” man so he could play that part also. Hey, why not make him the Other Brother Darrell and George! He can have a split personality! LOL….

Monday, October 15, 2007 9:51:00 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Pam, you can be the horror nurse. My neice Jes, who's birthday is on Halloween, did that one year. She had her eyes colored with black circles, her face white like a ghost and had blood dripping all over her uniform and was a very scary, Nurse Ratchet kind of nurse. Her hair was all ratty too. You can do that!

I think I am going to be a dog--a devil dog! Glen will be The Boss and have me on a leash. Ha! I'll get him some devil horns too. Maybe a tail. I'll put all the cats in their place!

Can't wait to see everyone!

Monday, October 15, 2007 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger B said...

It's official--your all nuts.

Monday, October 15, 2007 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Hmmmm....takes one to know one, so my mama always used to say. Guess we know what that makes you, don't we B?????

I think Sandy belongs on a leash, so this could be the perfect costume. Think we can get the Boss to throw in a muzzle?????


Monday, October 15, 2007 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

I could have saved myself lots of grief over the years if I HAD been wearing a muzzle. My mouth doth get me in lots of trouble, because what I think in my head comes right out of my mouth before I even realize it. LOL.

But I don't bite, only bark and crowl and curl my lip.

Monday, October 15, 2007 1:23:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

I know the Saint wished he had a muzzle on me at times!

Monday, October 15, 2007 5:54:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

But if you had a muzzle on you couldn' know.LOL.

Monday, October 15, 2007 9:53:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Smooch???....????? LOL

Tuesday, October 16, 2007 11:44:00 AM  

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Pet People

Sandy Britt, an animal welfare advocate and volunteer with Clarksville rescue organizations, takes care of three dogs: Zoe, Scooter and Peanut; two cats: Catfish and Tarzan; and one husband, Glen, and according to him she takes care of them in that order.

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