Mrs. FC was mowing around the house and garden area last week, when she stopped suddenly and called me over.
I was cutting brush along a fence line with my new, uber sweet kukri machete when I heard the mower stop and her call to "Come Quick!"
My first thought was, "Oh, she must have another carnivorous katydid up her pants ... what are the odds of two in a week?"
(WHAT? ... I didn't tell you about the carnivorous katydid? One morning her truck would not start, so we had the hood up and jumper cables connecting it to my JEEP. While we leaned on the truck and peered at the engine the way people do in that situation, she began to hop around clutching the leg of her nursing scrubs, while shouting, "Take my pants off! Take my pants off!"
It was pretty funny (and unexpected) so I guess I must have been standing there in shocked amazement, because she took matters in to her own hands and flipped her waistband down long just enough for a big brown carnivorous katydid to hop out.
This was one of those times when it's especially good that we live way out in the country without neighbors.
Her truck never started by the way, and she headed off to work in my JEEP with a pretty unusual start to her day.)
On this day, it was not another katydid attack, but rather a young gopher tortoise who happened to be directly in the path of the mower when she spotted it.
That was close.
Good job, Mrs. FC.
This guy has no concept of how lucky he is.
First he lives here, where we love his company and even manage parts of the property just for his benefit.
Second, we don't mow very often so the chances of a bad blade encounter are small to start with. In fact, due to the horrible drought which broke last week (after I wrote about it), we have mowed exactly two times this year.
Third, Mrs. FC happened to be paying close attention as she mowed.
This little guy might be last year's tiny yellow gopher I posted about at the time.
He's too big and past that hatchling yellow stage to be the motorcycle rescued gopher from a month or so ago.
Because it was nearby, I placed him in the runway to G-5's (Gopher #5) burrow, expecting him to scramble into the safety of the cool darkness.
He did not.
So I nudged him gently.
Unfortunately, due to the extreme slope of G-5's burrow entrance, when I nudged him he tumbled out of sight into the dark tunnel.
What if he was in there on his back?
Sometimes they can right themselves, but sometimes they can not and it is a slow death if they can not get back upright.
I peered into the darkness, but could not see him.
I dashed back into the house, grabbed the bazillion candlepower boat spotlight and returned.
At the top of the burrow, I put myself in a prone position so I was leaning upside down over the burrow entrance.
When the very powerful spotlight fired up, there was the little gopher, right side up crawling towards me.
I think I may name this one LUCKY if he decides to stick around PFHQ.