Greetings all! May was a busy month around here at Intrigued and June is looking to be more of the same. I have a 50K ultra trail coming up the first week of July – a bid for redemption as the first go around at this race two years ago put me in the emergency room (link here). I don’t do well with failure and need to get this only blemish on my racing career addressed. Hopefully they’ve learned not to put box fans out in the open at the aid stations ha. Although it may not have seemed like it from the wildlife side of Intrigued, but May was also a big month for posting – especially on the mothership. As mentioned in one of those posts, the BARwW Consortium (Birds Are Rats with Wings) was blasting my inbox with hate mail tired of all the feathers. Decided to finally address it with a number of posts up there which included a running post (holy crap finally had a REAL RACE link here) and several Halloween posts after that. While gathering up the images for those posts, noticed this in my cell phone gallery.
This prehistoric specimen decided to visit us back in May 2019. Every so often during the rainy season the wash will push the Turtles out of our ravines up to higher ground. I’ve made a few posts on our previous visitors (link here and here). This one was significantly younger than the other visits – younger being relative for a creature than has a wild lifespan from 30 to 45 years.
Hit the jump to read more about our country critters.
As I sit here in my forced ban on all things political for the moment I thought I’d crank out another post. Actually I just finished another project which will soon be making its way to the blog (yeah) and it occurred to me that I had a quick one in the hopper that needed to be finished up. Next week is going to be a whirlwind and don’t need to have the quota hanging over me to add any additional stress. Ironically, nothing relieves stress like successfully dealing with a destructive pest.
Readers of this off ramp on the Information Super Highway should be very familiar with my absolute distaste for MOLES (shudder even typing it). They are right up there with clowns on my top ten antagonist list but unlike clowns these fur demons regularly manage to make their way onto my property. To normal creatures the homestead is a sanctuary of sorts. Rarely does anything meet their fate by my hands when they mind their own business and refrain from too much visible damage. This includes the deer that enjoy grazing through my landscape, raccoons that grow out of their cute stage and start taking liberties with the bird feeders, spiders that somehow find their way into the house and the mice that refuse to believe our propane tank is not their pleasure palace. All of these incidents pass without harm. That is all fine and dandy until I see that trail of dirt streaking across my lawn – blood boils, words are cursed and then I am pressed into action which means war (link here). With all the Project Auuuuunnnoooold work this year I have not been as diligent as usual. A few tails were seen at the edge of the yard but gave it the benefit that it mistakenly left the safety of the woods but would soon correct the error of its ways. That was until a couple of weeks ago when a line showed up in MY FRONT YARD. This is completely unacceptable. If you recall from a very sad post sometime back (link here), I had lost a good friend. I had not pulled out the new ones yet so opted to go with the old one. It had been giving me some concern due to how tight the springs seemed to be lately. All but the main line was stomped down and the trap set. Soon there were would be snapping in the air. Yet when I got home the next day, the trap was still set and all the side mounds were back up DAMMIT! This must be an uber smart one. Time to bring out Annihilation or Nihil for short. Based on the difficulties setting it, Trigger (as in Hair Trigger) might have been a better name. I’d set it, take a step and it would spring.. set, step, spring, set step spring – eesh. Eventually it was worked enough to hold but still cautiously made my way out of the kill zone.
A quick check a few hours later brought a smile to my face…
Not even an uber-smart mole can defeat me. Nihil comes through on its very first outing. Problem solved! Let’s all give a warm welcome to Nihil for he shall have a long and prosperous life (whatever you do, don’t mention the fate of Termi). For those that like to keep track, the 2013 tally is now Brian 1 Hellspawn ZERO. How about another joyful shot….
all it had to do was stay in the woods and it would still be grubbing it to the day it died of natural causes.. or the coyotes found it.. or it dared to even look at my neighbors manicured lawn. …. but NOOOOOO it decided to play with fire.
Wow, I thought last month was a lot of work to meet my quota, but this month has not been ANY easier. It would probably be simpler if I started a little earlier in the month (or actually pre-wrote the posts, but I’m not going there!) Today’s entry is coming to you from the road as were on our way to Lincoln to meet the parents. Since there isn’t much else to do in the car I’ve cranked up the laptop along with the Verizon hotspot and here we are. Before you panic, Linda is driving. If you recall from yesterday, we recently had a unique visitor to the homestead (link here). Turns out this was not the only interesting creature to find its way to our place. As some background, I had spent a significant amount of time reworking our landscaping. This included removing the crappy mulch we had used previously, putting down all new fabric and back filling with all new mulch (about 3 tons of it). To be honest, it looked pretty awesome when it was all done – a nice reward for all the hard work. Unfortunately, that lasted less than a week. One night something decided to dig holes all over the mulch pulling up sections of fabric in various places. I was pissed and spent a significant amount of time hurling insults (my mother would not be proud) at the raccoons that were clearly responsible for this vandalism. This started an annoying loop of fixing the holes, waking up to more holes the next day, hurling insults, fixing holes… you get the picture. One Saturday night we came home around 1am and sure enough the mulch was torn up again. The fabric was ripped up more than usual this time with what appeared to be a new sense of vigor. Our youngest poodle (and largest at 10 pounds) made its way from the car and made a beeline to one of our bushes. To my surprise it wasn’t for the reason I expected – he started sniffing around in a cautious manner that caught my attention. On closer investigation I noticed THIS!
I have seen a lot of turtles in my lifetime but this has to be the largest specimen I have ever seen outside of captivity. I did make a quick apology to the raccoons in the area. This moment was not going to be wasted so I dashed off for the camera .. after, of course, getting our dogs safely inside. To be honest I have never really engaged turtles before. I’ve moved a boxer turtle off the road before but I was very naive when it came to this creature. Want to know how naive? Well, the first thing I thought of was to provide a size reference so all my readers would have a good understanding of the situation.
Be sure and hit the jump to see how this turned out (I think you’ll get a few chuckles