calzephyr: (garden)
and if you don't give us a holiday, we'll all run away! Or at least that's how an old, old skipping rhyme goes.

The May long weekend is the traditional start of the Canadian gardening season, although I think it's starting a little late here. Some positively chilly weather has put a damper on being outdoors as well as a nasty wind - sometimes I think if I had known the wind was so bad out in this part of Calgary I would have moved somewhere else! If we're not losing the garbage cans, it's the deck chairs. I want a cast iron patio set - try to move that, Mr. North Wind!

Time to get the mini roses outdoors... )
calzephyr: (garden)
My neighbour and I are at odds and like most neighbourly disputes, this one is about property. Namely my flowerbed and his hole.

A few weeks ago, another neighbour let their dog poop on our lawn...and for the first time in my life I was happy to see dog turds. Just another something in the arsenal against the little furry bugger...I rolled a prime piece down the hole with a stick and dusted my hands - surely that would discourage him from setting up house. The poop made a reappearance outside of the hole yesterday, much to my amusement, and then I promptly sent it back down. Just the latest tit for tat we have going - I filled the hole up with rocks and found them neatly kicked out within a couple of days. I kind of picture him at the bottom of his hole shaking his little furry fist and going churr churr churr! Maybe there's a Beatrix Potter story lurking in this conflict.

I don't want to resort to poisonous or trapping methods to get Mr. Gopher. If these holes keep up though, I'll have to buy a Havahart trap or some Critter Ridder!

Rats!

Sep. 1st, 2009 06:27 am
calzephyr: (oh noes!)
According to the radio just now, the rat that has been causing such a stir in Calgary was in a neighbourhood not far from us. It's causing a stir because Alberta is essentially a rat free province due to the diligence of the rat patrol.

The mouse was spotted again outdoors on Sunday - as if I didn't have enough to worry about! Definitely time to get the spray foam.
calzephyr: (Uh Oh)
I don't know if I'm going to be embarking on some Caddyshackesque capers or just head out to Home Depot for some spray foam. There's a small ground squirrel living under our step.

Most of the ground squirrels live in the field and the church a few blocks away and I knew there were a couple in the neighbourhood because of their high pitched little calls. I caught my neighbour prowling in the front yard one day a few years ago and apparently the gopher was in his yard. I think that gopher went away (hopefully in a natural way).

I spotted the little guy yesterday and today. There were these impossible to get rid of dandelions in the crack between the step and the sidewalk, but he took care of them by digging three holes! All this activity is pretty new. I filled one of the holes with white rocks and by the time I got back yesterday, it had been cleared. Oh boy...
calzephyr: (Default)
Oh, it gets wilder every year, but this year was the first time I was stampeded by a herd of wild rabbits. I was standing on the step trying to get a picture of a robin, when 'round the corner they came, their little paws thundering! There were six of them, and I didn't get a darn picture of anything at all!
calzephyr: (eek!)
The composter has been moved. A chorus of mice singing "It's a Small World" nor rapid scurrying did not greet me, thankfully. But the bird feeder has to go, at least for a while. Once I'm over this cold I'll see what natural pest deterrants I can find. Apparently spraying an area with bleach is one solution. I should have been a little more diligent in addressing this problem beforehand, but now it's reached the point where security trumps laziness.

I filled the bird feeder with Harrison's pellets - I bought the wrong size once and realized this only after opening the bag. I stuck it in the freezer and pulled it out when I ran out of bird seed. The sparrows don't seem to like it, but I tell ya, the mouse sure did! I just happened to look out the window while feeding the fids and he had crammed himself into one of the feeder compartments. He was like that for about five minutes more - and then he delicately made his way back down via the rose bush. I thought he might have scarpered up the pole, but the thorns were not a deterrant at all.

I had a dream this morning about mice actually - I dreamt that the mice were rolling tomatoes across the front lawn. Then they turned into ugly rats that were trying to eat through the screen door. Gah!
calzephyr: (garden)
My FIL has been wanting to build us a garage all summer, but due to conflicts with the gas line and our property not being big enough in the back, it was a no go. Instead we're getting a concrete parking pad. We were standing around today while my FIL pointed his measuring tape here and there, and his gaze dropped to the composter. He casually mentioned there was a mouse behind it. I peered around, and maybe my eyesight isn't as good as my FIL's, but I didn't see it.

I have to move the composter two feet over to accommodate the pad and I'm dreading it. It's the kind subsidized by the city that has an open bottom and is anchored by four large screws. After about 3 months of composting, there certainly isn't any "black gold" in there, but now I'm wondering if it has become a mouse house. Yuk! Suddenly it's quite apparent that with no bottom, the composter is not mouse proof - maybe every other non-burrowing critter proof though.

My parents had a similar experience with a black squirrel who camped in the cozy tent that was created when a tarp covered their outdoor chairs. The tarp came off in spring to reveal a gigantic, squirrel sized hole in the foam. I'll probably have to hit Home Depot and find a piece of plexiglass or something that they can't chew through for a bottom.
calzephyr: (Hello!)
If this sounds glurgy, I apologize in advance. Once again, I encountered a bee in distress. You know, I believe in the divine plan of the universe, even if it's not always apparent at first. To everything there is a reason. My original plan on this mostly gloomy Wednesday was to go to the library after work, but I missed the bus and just went home. I took a shortcut and came upon a poor little bee sprawled out on the sidewalk. Its little behind was orange and its little legs were splayed out; it was the very picture of exhaustion.

Read more... )

Baby robin

Jul. 9th, 2008 09:08 pm
calzephyr: (Hello!)
Earlier this evening I went out to feed the new composter and surprised a baby robin sitting on the steps of our deck. He went "Peep!", pooped and fluttered down into the tall grass on the side of the house were the rabbits like to hide. As far as hiding places go, it wasn't a bad one, but I could have very well stepped on him!

Half an hour later, he was gone, although given the way an adult robin was chasing starlings around our backyard, he was probably still close by.

I have really had enough encounters with nature as of late. My parents came over on Sunday and helped out with the annual trimming of the wild rose bush. Wild rose bushes are such a great symbol for Alberta - they are extremely hardy and extremely th-ornery :-) I said good bye to one of two bushes under the window last summer, but believe it or, it was still sending out suckers to propagate. Rain,dead mice and a lack of a hoe had made me reluctant to trim the bush earlier and explore it's dank depths, but Mom approached it with gusto, and after an hour there were two huge piles of branches on the lawn. The bush really is denuded now, but it was gross underneath - nothing was growing except an anthill in its shade :\

This morning I was filling the bird feeder when something large, gray and furry ran out from under one of the branch piles. I shook in place until it disappeared from my field of vision - it was really larger than a mouse. Maybe it was a mole. Or a vole. Whatever it was, I wish it had picked someone else's yard this time!
calzephyr: (Default)
I have to buy new seed for the bird feeder, yet I find it amusing that in the morning and in the evening there's a little sparrow scout checking things out. The bird feeder attracted some mice, naturally, and I'm sure there's a few under the deck still. The orange cat that's been hanging around the bird feeder managed to kill a few of them. I discoverd one the same day my parents came to visit, so Dad took care of it and in the process discovered another :S I was poking around in the flowerbed yesterday after work and found a third, so I just buried it :-P All of them had been dead for a while.

I thought my crocus wouldn't come up, but it looks like three have started. I was so disappointed to see grass where I planted it instead of the classic image of crocuses poking through the snow. Well, those little blades of grass are the crocus! Please please please bloom crocus! I gotta get out there again - the flowerbed is so blah and full of dead grass and rabbit poop. I can't wait until the May long weekend to buy some bedding plants.
calzephyr: (Default)
There were four irises when we moved in five years ago. The dark purple one has consitently bloomed, while the pink/purple one has sometimes bloomed. I can't remember what the third one was, because it only bloomed the one time and then went dormant/eaten by something/dug up by accident :-D Such was the case with the fourth one, the yellow iris. Two years ago I transplanted it to a different part of the flowerbed and nothing happened for two summers. Well...when I came home today I noticed that about two inches of it had come through! I hope it's the yellow one anyway. Not sure what else it could be though. No sign of the purple crocus, alas.

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calzephyr

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