Friday, December 30, 2016


  One day last week, a  mysterious, speedy blur, zipped across the floor. It was small and so instantly gone, that the mind questions whether it really happened or not.
"Did that just happen? Was it a trick of the eye, an errant bit of flotsom in the vitreous humor that tricked me... or ... was that a mouse?"

Not hating mice, but not looking forward to mouse chewed wires burning my house to the ground... among other things, I chose to act.

I set up a "foolproof" , but not "mouseproof", trap. 
A baited, yet perfectly balanced spatula, perched over a bucket seemed the humane way to catch "The Blur".
It would happen like this ...
Mouse creeps out onto spatula to get bait -- mouse tips spatula --- mouse lands in bucket.

Confident of success, I turned out the lights in the kitchen and fell asleep listening for the sound of the spatula falling into the bucket.

Surely in the morning, I would find the Blur looking up at me from the bottom of the bucket.
My plan would end with the Blur and I taking a long JEEP ride until I plopped his furry, blurry butt into the woods.

After 2 nights of spatula silence and no Blur, I resorted to a tried and true method.

The very next morning.
If you have to die in a mousetrap, this is the way to go ... that should have been an instant death.

 Fueled by too much Key Lime pie and coffee for breakfast, I tried to think of something to do with the mouse. 
This is what I do when presented with an opportunity... 
 So, what could you do with a fresh dead mouse, a clamp, and a GoPro mounted on a selfie stick?
I know, right? 
The possibilities are endless.
I settled on placing the mouse atop a post in a lifelike position with the selfie stick-GoPro combo clamped to the fence and pointing at the mouse.
Then I turned it on and walked away.
Three hours later, when I was sure the GoPro was out of battery and storage, I went to check on the setup.
Results? Mouse still in a lifelike position and a couple hours of video of the same. 
No snake, no hawk, no squirrel passing by ... nada.
These things happen.

(More on this picture at the end)

No big deal, because during those 3 hours, I was making another bee house. This time, I made it to the point of assembly and then backed off. My son-in-law Rob had asked if maybe we could make one together during our next visit to see Ollie, so this one is a "kit".  
All Rob and I have to do is assemble it and stuff it with the bamboo sections I cut.

The "kit" ready to go... look at that clutter behind it.
Every time I post photos taken in my barn/shop/storage shed, I am shocked by how messy it is.
I am a man without a garage, so this poor battered 12 x 16 shed is a wee bit cluttered.
You add that to the fact that I only suffer from occasional  bouts of organization, and well, it's enter at your own risk.

 I try not to think about how big, dark, and fat the spider is who lives in that webby tunnel of doom.
We share the workbench. 
It's a little like Superman sharing space with a chunk of Kryptonite.

If you remember the box of cardboardy trash on the porch at the top of this post ... this is where some of it wound up. 
A few days before, we had burned a pile of cardboard while we did a meadow burn. At the time, I noticed that many of the cardboard boxes, which had sat on the back porch since Christmas day, were hosting lizards (anoles) and tree frogs.
The herps were just looking for shelter during the cold weather. 
We shook them out of the boxes before burning of course.
Maybe I could repurpose a little of the cardboard.

So I made a little bundle of cardboard odds and ends and bound it with some palm and bamboo fibers. With cramped spaces and cozy cardboard, it mimicked the boxy junk from the porch.
Then I placed it in the big pollinator house that sits in the garden and called it a day.

The whole, pretty nerdy, process is here in this YouTube video:

How about those glasses?
Those are my "readers" for when I'm wearing my contacts, but need to see sharply up close and personal.
They look just like my the first pair of glasses I ever got back in 5th grade.

So yeah, kind of geeky, but upon the very next day ...

If you build it, they will come.


robin andrea said...

Great creativity going on there. Too bad the mouse didn't behave the way you wanted. But that beautiful lizard did, and that is perfect geeky validation!

Julie Zickefoose said...

SQUEEEEE!!! The anole in the shelter!! oh squee.
Nothing like having a creature take your offer of shelter, food, whatever. Like when Garrett the red-headed
woodpecker moved right into the house I put up for him when his birch snag snapped in half. Just like that. I almost wept with joy.
The cobweb with the tunnel. Oh. My. Goodness. Large diameter.
No, do not throw a lizard in the fire. Heck I shake the spiders out of my burnables. And frantically rescue any that come scurrying out, grabbing them with my bare hands and flinging them into the grass.

I don't know if it's the geek goggles, but I never knew you had such antic eyebrows. Filing that away in the FWIW file.

Also: Nice barred owl intro! Love this post! JZ

threecollie said...

I couldn't wait to get home to read this post. It wouldn't load on my phone for some reason and I never got time to see it on the computer...Alan kept us on the run. How neat that the little Anole is already in your boxes! We saw a little lizard at the Cedar Key boat launch. Alan got a photo but we don't know what it is.

Anonymous said...

Those anoles are not native, right?