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BS: Varmints

keberoxu 21 Jul 20 - 06:54 PM
keberoxu 19 Jul 20 - 08:29 PM
Penny S. 03 Jul 20 - 05:41 AM
Senoufou 02 Jul 20 - 04:42 PM
Charmion 02 Jul 20 - 04:25 PM
robomatic 02 Jul 20 - 01:13 AM
keberoxu 01 Jul 20 - 09:48 AM
Senoufou 25 Jun 20 - 07:19 AM
Senoufou 25 Jun 20 - 03:55 AM
keberoxu 24 Jun 20 - 07:40 PM
keberoxu 23 Jun 20 - 03:21 PM
Steve Shaw 20 Jun 20 - 06:11 PM
keberoxu 20 Jun 20 - 04:16 PM
keberoxu 18 Jun 20 - 10:26 PM
Donuel 18 Jun 20 - 09:20 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Jun 20 - 04:45 AM
Steve Shaw 17 Jun 20 - 08:43 PM
Mossback 17 Jun 20 - 08:27 PM
Steve Shaw 17 Jun 20 - 06:53 PM
keberoxu 17 Jun 20 - 06:29 PM
Senoufou 10 Jun 20 - 12:42 PM
leeneia 10 Jun 20 - 12:33 PM
Senoufou 09 Jun 20 - 01:59 PM
leeneia 09 Jun 20 - 01:34 PM
Senoufou 09 Jun 20 - 07:12 AM
Jos 09 Jun 20 - 06:24 AM
Senoufou 08 Jun 20 - 04:35 PM
keberoxu 07 Jun 20 - 04:47 PM
Senoufou 06 Jun 20 - 02:45 PM
keberoxu 06 Jun 20 - 01:17 PM
Senoufou 06 Jun 20 - 04:31 AM
Steve Shaw 05 Jun 20 - 08:26 PM
Senoufou 05 Jun 20 - 03:59 PM
keberoxu 05 Jun 20 - 03:19 PM
keberoxu 25 May 20 - 06:31 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Apr 20 - 12:25 PM
keberoxu 13 Apr 20 - 09:37 AM
keberoxu 19 Aug 19 - 01:41 PM
keberoxu 29 Jul 19 - 02:21 PM
keberoxu 04 Jul 19 - 02:38 PM
Bill D 03 Jul 19 - 06:48 PM
keberoxu 03 Jul 19 - 05:39 PM
keberoxu 17 Jun 19 - 03:00 PM
keberoxu 16 Jun 19 - 01:25 PM
keberoxu 30 May 19 - 01:34 PM
keberoxu 27 May 19 - 02:13 PM
keberoxu 25 May 19 - 10:51 AM
keberoxu 22 May 19 - 05:11 PM
keberoxu 21 May 19 - 03:57 PM
Stanron 21 May 19 - 03:49 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 21 Jul 20 - 06:54 PM

The bear got away from the police.
Don't ask me how, because they treed the bear.
The patrol car pulled in, and out came the policemen
and one of them had some sort of gun (tranquilizer?).
But somehow, the bear got away.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 19 Jul 20 - 08:29 PM

Some big hungry bears are coming down from the mountain and hill forests
to knock over people's dumpsters.
Where I'm staying,
there was just a flurry of excitement with others running about saying,
"Don't go outside! There's a big bear out there!"
and running from window to window in the fading evening light,
trying to see the big old thing.

I just stayed at the computer ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Penny S.
Date: 03 Jul 20 - 05:41 AM

In Aldi or in Lidl, and probably other places, I have been able to buy black mesh with velcro fixings to cover the windows. You can get white mesh too, but I prefer the black as it's barely visible. It does the job of screens.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 02 Jul 20 - 04:42 PM

No Charmion, no screens. I've seen them in Africa, and with mosquito nets over the bed, one can be relatively insect-free.
The poor bluebottles whizz outside again if 'encouraged' with my tea towel, but some drop dead on the floor from starvation (which is why I offered a bit of ham!)
My neighbour-across-the-road has had to send for the Rat Man because she's seen one rat in her garden (She's terrified of them) It's said that one is never far from a rat, and I don't myself mind them, but they are dirty creatures and carry Weil's disease.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Charmion
Date: 02 Jul 20 - 04:25 PM

Senoufou, don't you folks over there have window screens yet? They keep out flies, mosquitoes, moths and all manner of critters, including spiders!

When my grandfather moved his family from Montreal to England in 1924, he discovered with disgust that window screens were unknown, although they were standard equipment in Canada. Over 21 years in England, he made a full set of screens for every house the family spent more than a few months in (they moved frequently due to his work).


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: robomatic
Date: 02 Jul 20 - 01:13 AM

Probably due to so many people staying indoors we've had some reports of wildlife on the sidewalks. I live in the suburbs five miles(8 kilometers) from the downtown of the biggest city in Alaska. So a neighbor three blocks away saw a full grown otter running past his cul-de-sac. About two weeks ago I saw a black bear on the sidewalk. And people I don't know got on the neighbor web and reported a brown bear kill within half a mile. And a moose with calf in the local dog park. This is above average and probably covid related. Aviation is far below normal even now, and skies are I think somewhat bluer and certainly way quieter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 01 Jul 20 - 09:48 AM

The coronavirus pandemic now has a component in
mink and ferrets.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 25 Jun 20 - 07:19 AM

Now it's those huge bluebottle flies. In this heat, we have to open the windows, plus the doors of the conservatory and utility room. So the blooming things bash around buzzing loudly trying to get out again.
I haven't the heart to swat them/squash them. They can't help being flies can they? So I gently usher them out with a flapping tea-towel.
I swear it's the same ones that come back in again!
I offered one a bit of ham. It seemed to like it. Daft aren't I?
Our neighbour, a shepherdess, tells me her small flock has 'fly-strike' (maggots in their feet and bottoms).


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 25 Jun 20 - 03:55 AM

Last night we had a tawny owl on our bungalow roof hooting away like mad. On and on and on. Must have been feeling horny. Nice at first but it got a bit annoying (very loud!) They do catch mice etc so not a bad thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 24 Jun 20 - 07:40 PM

Today it was a cottontail rabbit.
Very brave of the rabbit to come out
in the same spot where
the fox was on patrol earlier this week.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 23 Jun 20 - 03:21 PM

Today, meeting with one of my caseworkers,
I saw outside the office window
a groundskeeper with a stiff broom,
walking around the windows and walls outside the building,
taking down spiderwebs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Jun 20 - 06:11 PM

Yeah, goslings. That'll do me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 20 Jun 20 - 04:16 PM

Just in time for people to start getting out more,
the area I am living in currently
is sending out warnings about
hungry bears raiding dumpsters ...

it reminds me of the shark/Jaws movies,
"just when you thought
it was safe to go back in the water ... "


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 18 Jun 20 - 10:26 PM

You say "cygnets"
and I say "goslings" ...
call the whole thing off?


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmits!
From: Donuel
Date: 18 Jun 20 - 09:20 AM

Many US white guys perform a ritual of going into the woods armed to the teeth to kill an animal, not for survival but for sport. If you ask me its not a fair fight, its not like the animal even has a taser. The hunters patiently track an animal after being alerted to its presence at long last. If the animal surprises the hunter and starts to run they may get off a shot or two and may only hit their prey in the back and exclaim "GOT HIM". When the hunters come across the carcass they may give it a kick to be sure it is dead and it is not uncommon to even stand upon their prey. For a white guy who grew up hearing black people are animals and have that notion reinforced by others around him as well as incidents that further dehumanize black people in his eyes, the white guy actually comes to believe black people ARE animals. Is he murderously psychopathic? No, he was culturally trained to kill as in the hunt. You have to be carefully taught. Unlearning is a hard road.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Jun 20 - 04:45 AM

Speaking of Canada, Canada geese have been called "Britain's most hated bird." I understand that they may be hated even more in some parts of the US. The cygnets are very cute, but I should think that that's as far as it goes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Jun 20 - 08:43 PM

I understand that certain Canuckistanis object to our beautiful purple loosestrife...

My garden is overrun with American willowherb. Japanese knotweed is a menace in Cornwall. When it comes to starlings (endangered this end) I don't know what you're complaining about. You have far worse bird plagues your end. Then there's that Canadian fleabane. Bastard...


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Mossback
Date: 17 Jun 20 - 08:27 PM

Steve-

We'd be happy to come & get our squirrels if you'll return the favor & come get your goddamn starlings.

Also, be careful what you wish for - we ALREADY have a monumental plague of domestic and stray - feral[sic] - cats that needs doing away with & soon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Jun 20 - 06:53 PM

We are overrun by bloody grey squirrels, an extremely unwelcome import from North America, and rabbits, an extremely unwelcome Roman import. I would welcome a plague of foxes, buzzards and domestic cats to control these horrors.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 17 Jun 20 - 06:29 PM

A fox! I just saw a fox!

I'm at a residential treatment center in a small town,
and that is where the fox appeared,
nor am I the only one who saw it.
The sun is still out, if low in the sky.
The grass around the greenhouse has been recently mown,
and was cut too low to conceal anything moving in the grass.
The fox paid all of this no mind,
and paced slowly past the greenhouse over the cut grass,
under the trees.

A full-grown sized fox, and none too young;
the fur was quite brown, hardly anything resembling a red color;
muzzle, tail, and what I could see of paws
had nothing resembling black, just more of a neutral pale color.

It was the head and the tail, actually,
that helped me to positively identify
that this is a full-grown fox and nothing else.
I have rarely in my life seen an actual brown fox.

Normally, the foxes I see are near an open road,
if not dead by the side of it,
and they have been so young as to be almost pink-red.

I'm not a wilderness person and I do not venture
where older, browner foxes live, out of sight.
And it is rarer still when
an old brown fox comes out where the grass is mown,
near a parking lot full of parked autos.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 10 Jun 20 - 12:42 PM

Ooooh, hummingbirds would be so much more acceptable! How delightful!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: leeneia
Date: 10 Jun 20 - 12:33 PM

I don't think I believe the story about lots and lots of big spiders in an English house, not unless the house is unusually rickety or infested with other insects which serve as prey. I believe the man was pulling your leg. But check with authoritative sources.

I have sometimes had a spider in the house, but very small. I figure they eat the eggs of houseflies and cockroaches, and so they are welcome little guests. (None of them has ever come near anybody.)

I bet if you researched it, you would find that the big spiders' habitat is thick, leafy vegetation such as the honeysuckle, and they would never be tempted to enter your house.

You don't need to be ashamed of your fear of spiders, but perhaps if you learned more of how they live, you would learn some reassuring facts. I have a terrible fear of heights, myself, but I'm not ashamed of it.
=============
We have a big vine of native honeysuckle, and this summer we have a hummingbird pair feeding from its blossoms. Lovely!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 09 Jun 20 - 01:59 PM

That's most interesting leeneia, but the webs on the honeysuckle are more than likely spider ones. The neighbour very kindly cut back both honeysuckle plants for us last autumn, right back to the wall, and she said several 'enormous black spiders' ran away and under our garage door (gaaaaagh!) She has no fear, and reckons they have now returned and made their nests again. I'm just wondering what species of spiders these are.
As for the Churchwarden, he actually confessed that there are lots and lots of big spiders in his house, and calls them his 'friends'. (gaaaaagh again!)
I'm very ashamed of this phobia, but it's been there since I was a tiny girl, and I can't get the better of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: leeneia
Date: 09 Jun 20 - 01:34 PM

Senoufou, could those huge wooly webs be where tent caterpillars live? Google it.

About the carpet moths: here in America the bird-seed stores sell traps for the moths which might come with the seed. Perhaps you can find something similar to trap the adult moths as they emerge.

Be sure to distinguish cobwebs from spider webs. Cobwebs form when static electricity causes various kinds of dust to cling together in filaments. They are harmless, although they probably mean that it's time to clean the house.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 09 Jun 20 - 07:12 AM

Gaaaaagh Jos! I reckon I'll be a bit terrified now to go into any of the NT properties in Norfolk!
Our lovely Churchwarden is an elderly single man, and his house has huge cobwebs hanging from all the ceilings. We've been invited a few times round his for a nice cup of tea, but I kept eyeing those webs with trepidation. He laughed and said he liked spiders (!!!) and they kept flies and other pests out. My husband replied that it would keep me (a pest??) out too!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Jos
Date: 09 Jun 20 - 06:24 AM

I have heard that the National Trust and other keepers of stately homes encourage spiders for just that reason.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 08 Jun 20 - 04:35 PM

Well now it's blooming carpet moths! When we moved into this house ten years ago, all the carpets were a lovely wool-mix and just the colour we liked, and I think when they were laid by the previous owners, they were anti-moth treated. But the treatment has worn away and now we have quite a few holes, and these blasted tiny moths appear on the walls.
I keep spraying the eaten-away holes, but my sister tells me the only solution is to replace all our carpeting with non-wool stuff.
That would be one heck of a kerfuffle, and an enormous expense, so holes it will be.
Maybe the huge spiders could be persuaded to eat up the moths?


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 07 Jun 20 - 04:47 PM

In this part of the world,
there are squirrels -- the full-size ones,
not the little chipmunk scamperers --
in two different colors:
the very common grey squirrel,
and
black squirrels.

I have in fact seen black squirrels before,
during an extended stay in
Pennsylvania's Montgomery County,
northwest of Philadelphia.
Now I am in mountain country
near the state line between
New York and Massachusetts,
where I have never stayed before,
and here are the black squirrels again ...

and the other day I spotted, in the grass between trees,
a squirrel of such an unusual coloring
that I suspect
a mating between grey and black,
with a sort of brindle in-between result.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 02:45 PM

Hahaha keberoxu! Quite probably a side called the Norfolk Clog Dancers!
My much-loved neighbour-across-the-road pointed out to me just this morning some very strange and sinister webs in the two honeysuckle plants that frame our front door. Huge, thick, woolly webs totally unlike those of garden spiders. She reckons the spiders are coming in the house by climbing up the plants and using them to access our open windows.
Wish she hadn't said that - I quickly shut all the windows and the front door (usually left open when we're at home) and I'm now stifling hot but spider-free.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 01:17 PM

could the spiders be Morris dancers?


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 04:31 AM

I know Steve, and I do love learning about wildlife etc. (Norfolk Wildlife Trust) I don't want them squashed, but I can't tolerate them inside the house. If I get up in the night for the loo and there's one in the bathroom I can't help but scream, so husband prefers to put them outside.
He says the latest one is a new signing for Norwich City FC, a super-striker, hence the football boots.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Jun 20 - 08:26 PM

Quite a few species of British spider will give you a nip if provoked. But none can do you any real harm. They are very useful beasts and should never be killed. Mrs Steve is scared of them and requires me to evict them. I do that only if she's looking, otherwise I secretly release them back into the house.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Senoufou
Date: 05 Jun 20 - 03:59 PM

SPIDERS!!!!!
Gaaaaagh!!! I have never ever seen such enormous spiders in my entire life. Three now, jet black and quite hairy. In the house. In our bedroom. In our hall.
Are they a new arrival from abroad? Could they please go back immediately?
Husband has absolutely no fear (I have a phobia) and he gently picks them off the wall (shudder) and puts them out in the garden.
Can anyone suggest what type of spider this is?
I swear one looked as if it was wearing four pairs of football boots.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 05 Jun 20 - 03:19 PM

Another little ground squirrel or chipmunk.
They are amusing when they dash across the road,
what really looks comical is the
straight narrow tail which sticks out on the diagonal,
almost exactly 45 degrees, from the racing little body.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 25 May 20 - 06:31 PM

Last year, it was high summer by the time
a ground squirrel turned up where I could spot it,
and it was on the paved road.

Today's ground squirrel I saw by
looking out the window where I am staying presently,
and the little beastie was right where
the grassy lawn comes up to a building;
it scampered swiftly around the corner and out of sight.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Apr 20 - 12:25 PM

They obtain oxygen and eliminate carbon dioxide via diffusion through their skin. Oxygen must dissolve in the moisture on the skin first, so worms must never dry out. There is a rich bed of capillaries under the skin to facilitate this gas exchange. Earthworms come to the surface to get food, decaying leaves for example, which they drag down. I suppose they may find it easier to obtain oxygen by coming up to the top when the soil is saturated by rain, but in decently-aerated soil they don't need to come up for air. And worm burrows are a major contribution to that aeration.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 13 Apr 20 - 09:37 AM

The earthworms are out!
if that scientist told the truth
(earlier post on this thread),
the earthworms need oxygen and they come out when it rains.
Now they are oozing their slow and steady way
around on the sidewalk pavement,
in the puddles, while a drenching rain is falling.

Not certain if the earthworms get their oxygen
by being out of the ground,
or by searching out rainwater which is rich in oxygen, or what.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 19 Aug 19 - 01:41 PM

Can you imagine?

rat falls from ceiling onto restaurant table


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 29 Jul 19 - 02:21 PM

Today I spotted some sort of
chipmunk or ground squirrel.

The little critter narrowly avoided Mudcat's roadkill thread
as it sped across the main street,
right in front of my moving car.
He cleared it, though.

Not a conventional tree squirrel with its plumed tail;
as hard as it was to see him for his considerable speed,
I could still see a really skinny little tail.

He was reddish-brown and probably a full-size ground-squirrel
but much smaller overall then the adult tree squirrels.

Those grey squirrels in the trees
can be seen in any park or public garden,

but the little ground squirrel, hereabouts,
stays away from cultivated areas and
prefers the stands of undeveloped trees, woods, and forests.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 04 Jul 19 - 02:38 PM

What is it with the woodchucks/groundhogs?

The darned things are all over the back roads --

alive and scurrying, NOT roadkill.
Young, dark-furred, and skinny, too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Bill D
Date: 03 Jul 19 - 06:48 PM

Varmints am just critters what you ain't comfy with...but as the songs says:
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire
Some just clap their hands, or paws
Or anything they got now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 03 Jul 19 - 05:39 PM

You watch, anytime soon
I will have to update the roadkill thread ...

but not of late,
thank goodness.
All the little beasties I see as I drive,
for some odd reason,
are alive and fleeing.

Cottontail rabbits
near the private school campus,
and groundhogs/woodchucks near the railroad tracks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 17 Jun 19 - 03:00 PM

talking of deer,
I fear the prodigious growth of green growing things
during this very rainy spring and summer
is going to encourage the deer and their parasites
in the worst way.

Not to speak of the rodents and THEIR parasites, ugh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 16 Jun 19 - 01:25 PM

It's a wonder that I don't have to report
to the roadkill thread about flattened bunny rabbits.

Because, at the rate that the local cottontail rabbits
are racing around where I live,
there is going to be rabbit roadkill sooner rather than later.

And the cottontails WILL run in front of the moving car.
It seems to go with the soaking wet spring rains,
now turning into early summer rains,
which are encouraging all the green growing things to go mad.

Can the local mule deer, with their
Lyme-Disease-carrying deer ticks,
be far behind?


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 30 May 19 - 01:34 PM

Oh, and
Janeane Garofalo
does
a MEAN French-accented English -- at French speeds, to boot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 27 May 19 - 02:13 PM

I just watched a portion of a television cable-network broadcast
of the Pixar film
"Ratatouille."

Very fluid work they did with the regiments of little rats in
the restaurant kitchen.

I most appreciated the voices.
RIP Peter O'Toole.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 25 May 19 - 10:51 AM

Fat glossy black ANTS.
One chewed on my leg overnight in bed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 22 May 19 - 05:11 PM

Is the quokka a varmint?

or is the quokka an innocent victim

of human selfies with quokkas

and are the selfies the REAL varmints?


-- as if I can't see that the selfies
depend on getting the quokka up front before the lens,
and the human carefully behind the quokka ...
were people born yesterday?!


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: keberoxu
Date: 21 May 19 - 03:57 PM

Pirates, Stanron and Jos,
if I read right:
and the plot development
is in both the film and the book.


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Subject: RE: BS: Varmints
From: Stanron
Date: 21 May 19 - 03:49 PM

Wasn't it about a fur trapper being tricked? He was invited to see the varmint and when he tried to see he was struck from behind and then robbed.


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