Friday, December 12, 2008

Gopher Toil = Slow Soil Boil

Bear goin'fer it.
He has taken to excavating the freshest mounds, snuffling, and chuffing, and then he's off to shred something else.
Feather is more patient and will lie in wait next to an open active burrow. She never captures the gopher either.

The pocket gopher brings up a huge volume of soil over it's lifetime. If you figure in generations of pocket gophers doing this, the surface is fairly boiling ... just in slow motion.
We don't always see this ... sometimes it's because we just aren't looking, but often their work is hidden by vegetation and not as obvious as in the picture above.

The hay field above and below has been burned and the black ash provides a perfect contrasting background to the white subsoil sand brought up by the gophers toil.

This could be early prep for a watermelon field.

To avoid diseases, mostly fungal, Florida watermelon farmers rotate fields into other noncucurbit crops for several years before trying melons again. To make money, they need to harvest as early a crop as possible before more northerly states like Georgia begin to harvest their melons.
I have some pretty rare photos of the live gopher in this post from the past. If you are a newbie, it might be worth a click.
You know you wanna gopher it.


Laura VitaminSea said...

Of course I had to gopher it! LOL And I remember that post, you did get a rare photo of the little buggers! We have some at our house in Gville and they are really making themselves at home there.

As for Bear, he's just trying to help get all the holes ready for the tree farm he thinks you're going to put in.. ;)

TROLL said...

Noncucurbit? Gotta look that up.
Rare educational post at the Troll Report today too.

Dan said...

I lived in the country in north Florida for 21 years. The lawn was full of gopher mounds. But not once in those 21 years did I see the animal itself. You are one patient...person!

BeeDancer said...

I had to look up the gopher pictures...What a cute little guy

The close up shot of the burned field looks just like whitecaps ont he ocean...

robin andrea said...

These photos really give a sense of just how busy those little gophers are. Yum yum yum, eating all the time. A little root here and a little root there, and the next thing you know the whole field is full of mounds. Delicious.

Rurality said...

Have to admit I'm kind of glad we don't have those here. (The gopher, not the dog!)

Anonymous said...

fc who digs faster the gopher or bear? S T E B

Anonymous said...

You're right...I HAD to gopher it!

Great pictures. Have a good weekend!


Floridacracker said...

If that's Bear's plan, I need to order about a hundred saplings!!

Went there, read that, ... well said.

Hey, don't feel bad, it took me 48 years to see one.

Cute is right. Looks like a guinea pig to me.

As I recall you also got a gopher shot a while back.
Great minds ...

You don't have the southeastern pocket gopher in Alabamy?
I would have thought you did.

No contest ... the gopher wins!

Floridacracker said...

Thanks! You have an excellent weekend too!

crackercowlady said...

Thanks, FC. I finally got to see what one of these busy little critters look like, due to your patience and trusty camera. Great pics!

Rurality said...

Not in north Alabamy, anyway. :)