Sunday, May 3, 2009

Gopher?... Vole?

I had planned to dedicate this weekend to finishing the project we have started in the front yard. It rained... and rained... and now they say it might end on Tuesday. Boo.

The universe knew what it was doing, because J hurt his back somehow and is trying to be a superhero and continue to do everything. This means, he would have tried to lift 80 pound bags of concrete for me if we were working in the yard. So, the rain was a good thing (doubly, since we are in a drought).
Today, it broke for a couple hours in the afternoon. I went outside to see what I could do by myself and ended up staying out for an hour. I wasn't working on the project, as I was out back. But, I made a couple nice discoveries.
First, my pomegranate tree has leaf buds! Hooray! It has been a mass of dead-looking twigs since it came to me at Christmas (thanks again, Jeff!), and I was really worried that I hadn't gotten it into the ground in time. But, if you look really closely, you can see tiny leaf buds today.
Last weekend, my neighbor was telling me that she thought a gopher had made a mess of one of her garden beds. I told her it was probably a skunk; I've never seen a gopher in my life (famous last words, right?). The next day, I was outside with the kiddo and my dog started barking at the ground. Upon closer inspection, I saw that she was barking at a tiny pile of dirt, but just thought that maybe she's finally acting her age and getting a little senile.
This morning, I went out to get some firewood and walked through the yard to do a quick check of how everything was doing in the rain. Guess what I saw.... Mounds of pushed up dirt EVERYWHERE! Yes, I am yelling that now, because I was yelling in my mind at that moment, "We do have a gopher!"
So, when the rain took a brake for a couple hours this afternoon, I went out back again to observe the situation. Yes, indeed there are piles of pushed up dirt all over the place. What to do about that? I have no idea, really. I am an organic, animal-loving girl, but I am also a garden girl and just don't know what is the proper course of action for my dual personality in this situation.
Again, the universe provides as I continued to make my rounds and found this friend basking in the little sun that was peeking through the clouds.

Ah, a natural predator (I think). And such a pretty one, too. (S)he gave me a nice opportunity to teach Anastasia about letting mama and daddy know if she finds a snake, because some are nice but some bite people. She watched him from a distance and helped me to take this picture.
I hope that our snake friend didn't go too far, because she had left this spot when I checked before I went back inside (I think the dog would've made a ruckus if she'd found the snake before it slithered out of site; I hope...). I also hope that (s)he will stay long enough to rid me of my gopher/mole/vole before it becomes a bigger problem.


  1. First, eeeeeekkkkk! A Snake! Second...CaddyShack.

  2. Oh, and third, I want some pomegranates. Remember when I made a pomegranate pie? That was tedious.