Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back To The Park –

P80722You would think that those who maintain the County Parks would be prepared for anything. They nearly are. They know how to deal with gophers, moles, voles, weeds, flooding, all sorts of unpleasant weather, and of course, spontaneous limb failure of massive trees. They apparently did not plan for this one.
This improvisation with a bit of dirty old plywood and a felt marker certainly does not imply that they could not handle the situation. They merely lacked a sign to warn those in the Park to avoid the area where the now exterminated yellow jackets had started to build their subterranean hive. Some brave person already attacked the hive with a can of insecticide that can be sprayed from a distance, waited for returning yellow jackets to die, and finally dug the hive up. The sign is only there because of the possibility that some yellow jackets might return much later, and that those who could return may not die now that the excavation of the hive mixed soil with the insecticide.
This was NO simple task. Yellow jackets and wasps are NASTY! I found it necessary to exterminate a hive of wasps just last summer. Wasps do not pursue their assailants so aggressively, and the particular wasps that I exterminated were not so numerous. I am certain that it was considerably more risky for whomever sprayed and dug the hive that was below where this warning sign is now.
When yellow jackets and wasps are flying about and annoying people, but their hive can not be located, it is sometimes necessary to put out traps. These traps are particularly useful in trees that are infested with scale or aphid that excrete honeydew that attracts wasps and such. The instructions that come with the traps are rather amusing. They include a rather extensive list of the various species and varieties of wasps and yellow jackets, with pictures of their distinctive coloration and patterns, so that they can be identified. I do not want to get acquainted with them. I just want them DEAD!P80722+

Halston Junior

P80610Apparently, the warnings were effective. https://tonytomeo.wordpress.com/2018/01/27/caution/ . They managed to avoid the traps and survive to perpetuate another generation under the lawn of Felton Covered Bridge Park. It is impossible to know if they are directly related to the now deceased Halston https://tonytomeo.wordpress.com/2018/04/21/halston/ who infested a landscape only about two miles away. It is unimportant. They all are intent on conquest.

Halston Junior, a baby gopher who may or may not be a descendant of the famed Halston, was found wet and shivering on the surface of the ridiculously perforated lawn. Rhody wanted to play, but was restrained from consorting with the enemy. The prisoner was detained, dried and put in one of Rhody’s blankets to recover. There was no formal interrogation, but the detainee was found to be well armed.

It is impossible to imagine what sort of damage such sharp and strong claws could inflict!P80610+

It is equally as impossible to imagine how dangerous such nasty fangs could be!P80610++

The purpose of this formidable weapon is unknown, but it is undoubtedly very dangerous!P80610+++However, the most effective weapons of all were mind control techniques. Halston Junior used them merely for self defense, by convincing his captors that he was too cute to be euthanized. It could have been much worse if he had not been so mentally compromised from his ordeal.

We knew that Halston Junior could not be released back into the lawn from which he came, but we also knew that relocating him somewhere else would disrupt the ecosystem slightly, and that Halston Junior would likely migrate back to where he came from. Ultimately, he did get released into a nearby meadow. We can only hope that the rest of the ecosystem will not notice.

Halston Junior won this battle, but not the war.

 

CAUTION!

P80127Halston was quite the rage when I was a little tyke.

I did not know exactly what that meant.

I can remember elegant ladies wearing Halston pill box hats. From the back seat of the new 1967 Chevelle, I could admire my Mother’s, while my younger brother on the other side of the car got tangled in our flower child Aunt’s abundant and long hair blowing in the wind.

Although I had never seen a Halston before, I could determine from hats made from them that they were soft, fuzzy and cylindrical. I knew that apricots, walnuts and oranges grew on trees, so I would sometimes look into unfamiliar trees, including the silk oaks next door, to see if I could see Halstons ripening in them.

My older sister eventually explained that Halston was they guy who made the hats. He was very busy. His hats were very popular. Apparently, he made the hats from coats formerly worn by small rodents known as minks. The minks were not really plumply cylindrical. In fact, they were so small that the coats of several of them were sewn together to make each hat. The thought of so many small rodents scurrying about naked until they got new coats was quite disturbing. It made me ponder the origin of the cuddly stole that Redd Foxx gave to Aunt Mary.

I certainly did not believe everything that my sister told me. Heck, she once tried to tell me that the dead bugs in Aunt Mary’s amber jewelry were trapped in tree sap millions of years ago. I know cheap Lego plastic when I see it. However, I do believe that fur obtained from animals lost popularity through the 1970s. The minks must have protested or something. My sister got a stylish coat with a furry collar made of imitation fur. Splendid; so now little kids will be cuddling naked teddy bears!

I have a better idea.

The pelts of all those nasty gophers that ruin lawns and gardens could be recycled into pill box hats . . . or maybe something more appropriate to modern fashion. Perhaps they could be sewn into reusable grocery bags. What an exquisitely stylish expression of environmental awareness that would be! Because gophers get killed when trapped, they could not protest the use of their pelts later.

Using gopher pelts in this manner would:

Protect our lawns, gardens, landscapes and green spaces from environmental annihilation

Recycle by-products of environmental protection

Provide stylish accessories that express our concern for environmental stewardship

Promote the use of materials that are completely organic, natural, non-toxic, biodegradable, sustainable and very renewable

Help save the Planet!

We only need to learn to be more efficient with trapping. What is the point of setting traps if gophers are warned to ‘KEEP AWAY’?