It seems as though the past couple of weeks have been all about rodents and birds in my house . . . although I am quite happy to report that the gopher apocalypse appears to be winding down with very few running around this weekend. Throughout it all, I have learned some very important lessons . . .
1. Where gophers live, badgers will follow.
The discovery of a badger at the back of a neighbours property last weekend was somewhat disheartening - seeing it run - super fast! - across the back of my property was downright scary. Learning there were two babies only increased my anxiety.
Between a neighbour, a friend, and myself, we logged countless phone calls to Fish & Wildlife, Lacombe County, RCMP, and Wildlife Centres in an effort to determine what to do about these potentially harmful rodents. Some of the conversations were amusing, some frustrating, and most not very helpful. However we did finally locate someone who could come and live trap and relocate them thank goodness.
Badgers are smart. The first night, they flipped and moved the traps around so they could get eat all the bait without getting caught. The next day, I was able to take pictures of them climbing on top of the traps and rolling around them. Finally, Mama and one baby were trapped - hopefully the second baby will come out soon so they can all be happily reunited and relocated to somewhere other than near my backyard.
2. There is a lot I didn't know about gophers.
Did you know that if a gopher is injured and crawls back into its hole, chances are, it will be eaten by his peers once he bites the big one?!? Ummmm . . . gross. No wonder they all looked so crazy and wild-eyed! Zombie gophers!
Speaking of eating gophers, the trapper who came to get the badgers offered to provide me with a wonderful recipe for 'gopher legs' - apparently they taste rather like cornish hen and leaving the tail attached to the hind quarters is optional - kind of like a garnish. While I am looking for every opportunity to cut our grocery budget, I'm thinking I might pass on this idea.
And finally, there are people in other countries who will pay up to $5000 for a gopher - to keep as a pet! I'm still thinking about how I might be able capitalize on this ;)
3. Crows scare me.
Especially when they sit on my deck railing and watch me as I work in the house. Following my every move - almost as though they are waiting for the opportunity to peck my eyes out.
I am absolutely terrified of birds - so when a crow sits and watches me, I am a woman on the edge. When it sits right outside my bedroom window and caws, I practically shit my sheets.
Apparently, crows can't digest bubblegum either - when I got home the other day, there was a HUGE black and pink turd on the post cap of my deck - ugh! It reminded me of when Ben ate 20 pieces of Double Bubble in an hour at a birthday party - at least I didn't have to try and pick gum off the birds ass - thank heavens for silver linings!
Through it all, I am so very thankful for all of my neighbours and friends who have helped me out by emptying and setting traps, shooting gophers, and talking me off the ledge when the crows were circling. They have listened to me obsess, whine, and complain - and reassured me that it would get better. And it has. I am grateful.