P80421KHalston, with the help of several friends, could make a nice pill box hat. That is the origin of the name; from pill box hate fame. This might help clarify, https://tonytomeo.wordpress.com/2018/01/27/caution/ . Yes, Halston was a gopher.

Halston was causing some significant damage that was more of a concern than fashion. Halston started by making several large volcanoes under an already distressed ‘Yoshino’ flowering cherry tree right on the edge of the main road. I really did not want any more of the roots to be ruined. I dug into the main tunnels and set traps; but Halston was very elusive, and pushed traps out of the tunnels, and left them unsprung at the surface of the soil.

Halston was very busy last weekend, creating a chain of volcanoes like the volcanic islands of Hawaii. They were right along the edge of a paved walkway, so were both unsightly and messy. Halston had to go.P80421K+

Halston would not go easily though. Excavation into the tunnels was getting to be as damaging as the tunneling had been. I dug to follow the tunnel from the volcanoes for several feet without reaching the main lateral tunnel. I did not want to dig any farther. I had already cut a few small roots, and did not want to cut any more.

Halston compelled me to do something that I had never done before with gopher traps. I was always taught to dig down from the tunnel that comes to the surface, to find the main lateral tunnel, or ‘run’, that continues to the left and right of the tunnel to the surface. Traps should be set in pairs, with one to the left, and one to the right, within the main run. If a gopher perceives a problem in a tunnel to the surface, that tunnel gets abandoned, and the gopher simply excavates a new surface tunnel. However, a gopher is not so likely to bypass a main run. Since I could not find the main run without damaging more roots, I set the first trap in the tunnel that I had dug up for several feet from where it came to the surface, and the second trap in another open tunnel with only a small volcano that was located several feet away.

I really did not expect to catch anything, but to my surprise, all excavation stopped, and Halston was in the first trap when I pulled it up the following morning. Also to my surprise, Halston was quite diminutive! Because of the extend of all the damage, I was expecting a larger gopher. Several more that I would have estimated would be needed for a pill box hat.P80421K++


22 thoughts on “Halston

  1. Glad you caught the varmint. Did you know that the gopher is the state animal of Minnesota? There is actually a statue of a gopher in the state capitol in St. Paul. You have to wonder what they were thinking. Of course, other upper midwest states also have a penchant for rodents: Wisconsin badgers, Michigan wolverines. In Illinois it’s the white tailed deer, which also raises some sensitive issues.


      1. Well, technically, most politicians are related to primitive humans; so are neither rats nor weasels, but we will always know some of them as such.


    1. I did not know gophers could climb! That sounds more like a ground squirrel. We have moles coexisting with gophers, but they do not eat roots. They just take the grubs.


      1. Nope, it was a big, fat groundhog. They’re at least 10 times bigger than moles. I’d never seen a groundhog in the neighborhood until that one showed up. My guess was something chased it so it ran up the tree. Poor thing didn’t come down until well after dark.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Groundhog?! I have never seen one of those. Gophers and ground squirrels are as bad as it gets here.
        I once put a gopher into a box to relocate it, and it got out of the box into the back of the pick up. When we got to the new location, he did not want to get out! We hung out for a while, and he got some of my lunch, before finally agreeing to the relocation.


      3. Oh my! I just looked up a groundhog. It is nothing like a gopher. A gopher is much smaller, and looks like a coffee colored rat, with a shorter tail and tiny eyes and folded down ears. It rarely comes out of the ground. The fur is very soft.


    1. The tree and another that is paired with it got pruned on Friday. They finished bloom, and are leafing out, so all the dead material was unsightly. I hope they do better this years. They look great in bloom.


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