Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Having a Hart

photo by

How do you catch a woodchuck? I catch mice and voles with peanut butter, sunflower seeds can lure chipmunks, the two gray squirrels who terrorized the Accounting Dept. at work were suckers for Doritos, but what would interest a hedgehog?

It turned out I was able to rush him and scare him onto the front porch. Once he was cornered there, I made a lot of noise, banging my hoe on the sidewalk and shouting to keep him scared and in hiding behind a lawn chair while I dashed to the barn for the bigger Havahart trap. He was just considering making a run for it when I returned. More banging and arm waving bought time to get the trap open, set and along the porch wall, then a bit of herding with a broom, and VOILA! - I had captured Punxsutawney Phil! He now has a new home several miles from my garden.

One spring a few years ago I rounded up a large snapping turtle who had chosen my garden as her egg depository. The capture involved a metal garbage can and a shovel – dangerously close to the electric fence, I might add – and I’m here to tell you that Mrs. Terrapin was one fierce, hostile critter. In comparison, this woodchuck was sweet indeed.

But the Pesty Animal Capturer Life-time Achievement Award goes to my friend Dale who, in his 20+ years of service to the local school district, captured and relocated more than sixty skunks. Did he ever have “a problem?” Only once, when, trap full and loaded on the back of his pick-up, a friend came along and asked, “Watcha got under the tarp?” – punctuating the question with a loud thump of his fist on the truck bed...

Note: A "Havahart" is a humane, "catch alive" trap. Once captured, the animal can be taken to a suitable habitat and released.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

America's Wreckage
photo by © 2006

Monday, July 10, 2006


Glistening, gleaming, in-your-face bling,
Adorning strong necks,
Trickling between breasts;
Not the diamonds of city girls
Or the gold of the Inca princess,
But the pearls of the peasant class.

Dust-decorated, smeared bling,
Salt-shed paste diluted,
Body’s cast-off beads
Born of heat, by sun shimmered;
Stranger to beach basking
Or ocean's spray.

Proud-heritaged, honest bling,
Of chores complete and fields tended;
Brown-skinned bling,
Wiped by calloused fingers,
Viewed in the well’s mirror
At the end of the long day.