Too painful to endure

Please refer to the previous post as I say "See, I told you so."


Groundhogless posting

When the Mets were 2-1/2 games out of first I thought they were doomed and the deficit was insurmountable. Now that they are ahead by that number of games I think it is such a meager lead and there is no way they are staying in first place. Go figure.


Victory! Hopefully.

I made the last entry at 2:18. Just an hour later and things have surely changed. After making the posting I was sitting in the den reading and out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw something run across the backyard. At first I thought it was a cat that has been running loose around here. I got up, went into the backyard, around the side of the house, and as I turned the corner I heard something in the trap trying to get out. I thought it was the cat. Nope, it was Mr. Groundhog. He was chewing on the side trying to get out. Whoopeee!! I got him!! I almost did a victory dance. I took a couple pics, then loaded him into the truck and drove a little more than a mile, over a bridge and a river, so it is more difficult for him to make an attempt to get back here. I stopped on the side of the road, put the trap on the ground and popped open one end. Out he went. He stopped, looked back, and then kept going. It is finally over. Or is it?

I get back home, go around the house where I was going to take down the stuff I used for the "channel" to guide him into the trap, and I noticed that the hole was open again. In my joy in seeing him in the trap I didn't take notice as to whether it was there before. What I don't understand is how he could have made it through the trap to dig it out, then back through the trap into the yard, and then back into the trap where I finally caught him. Is it possible that there is another groundhog that dug it out while I was relocating the first one? Oh boy. I filled in the hole again and will again do the monitoring routine. Maybe I should have tagged the relocated one in case he does make it back here.

Just when I thought it was over

Well after yeterday's post you wouldn't have thought there would be another one so soon. But here it is. Yesterday I wrote the entry just past four thirty, which was about ten minutes after I had checked to see if Mr. Groundhog had redug his entryway. After writing it I was secure in the knowledge that he was probably gone for good, having not made an appearance in four days. Two hours later I took some parings to the compost, glanced over to the corner of the shed and was flabbergasted to see his hole open again. Did I assume he was in there? Do I wait til dusk to make sure he is home? Without a clue I simply set up the trap. If he was there he would encounter it when he came out, if he wasn't there and wanted to get back in he would have to go through the trap. This morning the trap wasn't tripped. I did notice that there was some dirt over the trap's base, which wasn't there when I set it up, so he did encounter it, but didn't set it off. The trip mechanism did appear to be slightly stuck, but it isn't a mouse or even a squirrel. A groundhog is a larger animal and I can't see how he could walk over the trip mechanism without setting it off. So, I reset the trap, left it in place, filled in his hole again, and will wait to see what happens this evening. Based on previous tries I expect this to be fruitless because it is obviously not his home and he is only there on occasion. I have no idea why he keeps coming back. Is it just to use as a safe haven when he is far from his home? Someplace he can run to if a predator is after him? Don't know, don't care. I just want him relocated.


Which way did he go George?

It seems that more than a few people want to know what happened after my last posting. Well, maybe only a few. Actually only two. But still that is more interest than I expected. If you are reading this and have no idea what I am talking about I am not going to take the time to recap everything. Simply go back and begin reading at my posting on July 30th.

Apparently he lives somewhere else and only uses our shed as a stopover on his daily excursions. I say this because in my last posting I observed that he had dug out his tunnel again, leading me to the assumption that he would be there overnight and I would catch him in the morning. I was wrong. In the morning, after setting the trap so there was no where for him to go except into it when he came out, I waited and waited and waited, but he never came out. Reasonable deductive powers lead to the conclusion that he wasn't there overnight. So, I filled in the hole again, and waited for his return. That was on Saturday. Today is Tuesday and the hole is still filled in. Where is he? I have no clue. Is he gone for good? I certainly hope so, but am not too optimistic.

If anything changes you will be the first to know.


Tonight, tonight, won't be just any night

I looked for him yesterday but he was nowhere to be seen. Still no evidence that he had returned to his burrow under the shed. But today around noon I saw him in the neighbor's yard enjoying his lunch under the sun. But still there was nothing near the shed. I assumed he had found other lodging in the area. Then, after dinner, I took some stuff left from dinner preparation to the compost pile and checked. His hole had been uncovered to prove he had indeed come home. In the next five minutes I had the trap set. Now I wait.


He's going to be grounded

He didn't come home last night. He didn't call either. Maybe he went to visit relatives, or stayed over his girlfriend's house. Maybe he has a second home somewhere. I waited until it got dark before I gave up on him. He did this once before so I really do expect him to be back in a day or two. I still put his breakfast (see yesterday's post) out for him, but with no sign of his return I knew it would still be there this morning, which it was. So, now I have to wait for his return before I proceed.


Ray's Next Move

I borrowed a trap from a neighbor. Research says to put it at the entrance of his burrow after he has retired for the night, and to provide a makeshift channel for him to have nowhere to go but into the trap where there is also food to entice him. So, when Mr. Groundhog awakens, exits his hole, he will be guided to his breakfast and WHAMMO, I finally have victory. (I hope) Setting it up tonight.


Error and another defeat

First let me say that I think I have been incorrect in referring to the rodent as gopher. In a previous post I had said that the terms gopher, groundhog and woodchuck were interchangeable. Well further research says that is not the case. A gopher burrows under lawns, gardens and golf courses through tunnels, is very difficult to get rid of, and will dance to a Kenny Loggins tune. A groundhog is less destructive being satisfied to simply burrow into the ground for his home, not needing to create a system of tunnels. You can see the obvious confusion since they both look alike and Bill Murray was in movies with both of them. I am convinced we have a groundhog.

With all that said, the groundhog won another round. My seemingly impenetrable barricade has failed. He simply burrowed under it to get between the shed and house and then through his hole under the shed. It seems to be a losing battle. I guess I will now get a trap and try to trap him and remove him to a distant land. But I have one more thing to try. I am going to drill a one inch hole in the floor of the shed and pour ammonia down into his habitat, hopefully making it an uninhabitable place. If that fails then the trap. A nice big trap, something with springs, and spikes to inflict the most pain and agony as possible. Just kidding.

Obviously more to come.


The Battle Wages

And so it continues. Apparently Mr. Gopher wasn't satisfied with the neighboring housing accommodations because he is back under our shed. Or at least the hole was reexcavated this morning. How did he get through my barricades you might ask? Well, underneath the cinderblocks at one end there was a small space between the corner of the shed, the ground, and the cinderblocks. I had plugged this space with some pieces of concrete but it wasn't enough to stop him. As determined as he was he dug out the concrete pieces and burrowed his way under and then back under the shed. So, this morning I did my stamping routine to make sure he wasn't under the shed, and went about plugging up the new entryway. I replaced the pieces of concrete and then laid a large paving stone over it, wedging it in tightly. The final step was to distribute more of my questionable repellant. Now I wait.

Your move Mr. Gopher.


Repellent failure

Well I guess my rodent repellent is not working. Or perhaps I am not eating or drinking the correct things to make it effective. I hadn't been putting it down for a couple days but was still checking for evidence of Mr. Gopher's return. For days there was no sign of him. I thought he had moved on to greener pastures such as the neighbor's house, which has been vacant for months, and would be perfect for him. But no, he decides to return and annoy me. Yesterday my brother Rick stopped by, asked about the gopher, and I said he apparently was gone. An hour after he left I go out and look between the house and the shed, and sure enough, there is a whole in the same spot. The concrete pieces I had placed in the hole were moved revealing a nice hole going under the shed. I opened the shed, stamped on the floor, to scare him out if he was there, and when there was no sign that he was, I once again took a cup, filled it with repellent and splashed it in the hole and replaced some of the concrete pieces and covered it all with leaves. A little while later I splashed more repellent over the area. Not easy to produce the repellent on demand. This morning I went out to check, and to my dismay, I find that the repellent didn't work, as the hole was there again. Again, I did my stamping routine, filled in the hole, assuming he was out, and then cut two pieces of a metal fence to place on top of the existing wall/fence at both ends of the space between the shed and house. Before this I had only a couple of cinderblocks stacked at one end and the other was blocked by the aforementioned fence which is only eighteen inches high. Now both ends are blocked by a three foot high barricade.

My question as to whether I barricaded him or out was just answered. As I sit on the patio writing this entry I heard a rustling sound in the other neighbor's yard, at the back corner behind their shed. Sure enough, there he was, moving along between the fence and the shed. Then he apparently went under the shed. So, unless there are two gophers in the neighborhood, he is possibly now living under a shed, but it isn't mine. We shall see.

Updates to follow.