stubbed toes and mud pies

flowerbug

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mouse tracks in the snow so i need to get back out and set some traps and probably also remove a nest. they usually like to try to set up shop in the crawlspace entrance and under and around the AC unit.

at least now that it will be warmer i can get as many as possible trapped before they start chewing on something or making a big mess again.
 

digitS'

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I did some reading the other day on N American rodents.

It may be true that even the ones that are here at home are what we used to call field mice. There are lots of species of what are now more commonly known as voles. And, where does the word "vole" come from? In several Scandinavian languages, it is the word for "field" :D.

Here in this neck of the woods, we have a water vole. ! And yes, muskrats are in the vole family.

Anyway. Voles are a problem at times in the garden. And, some little rodents - at times, show up in the house. Where's our ferrets??

Steve
 

flowerbug

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got things checked out. good to see that the bleach in the jar technique was still working to keep the mice out of the crawlspace entrance area (which is covered). no mice or mice nests in there! that's a great improvement over what i expected to see. so the mice are in and under the AC unit. i set 10 traps so that should keep them occupied for a few evenings...

it was also good to see that there weren't any mice trails any other place around the house so that was the only spot they were using. i knew that already from signs this past summer that something was doing something under the AC unit but i didnt' set any traps.
 

digitS'

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BTW.

When the owl family moved into the neighbor's hay barn, and after several weeks, I went in to explore, the expected "owl pellets" with mouse bones etc., weren't there for me to find. It was something like a couple of them.

What was there aplenty were the remains of collard doves. There was one rabbit skull, which provided some satisfaction but the collard dove had just moved here in their westward explanation. The momma owl and her 2 babies had been feasting fowl.

Steve
 

flowerbug

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a few traps were sprung yesterday and so i had to deal with the poor unfortunate creatures they'd captured. normally i offer them to the crows via putting them out in a grassy spot along the south side of the lot, but i've not had to trap mice for a long time and the crows are not checking that area any longer so this morning they were still laying there on the grass.

no more mice trapped last night so it was a quick check of things and then back inside - rain was threatening...

back to winter projects this weekend, but today i'll check the worm buckets and get them fed and watered as needed. that's always fun even if it takes some work too - not easy for me to sit on the floor (even on a nice floor pillow) to do it but it's only a once or twice a month activity most of the time. squash will start getting processed next week so that's usually some worm food too eventually.
 

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well that wasn't much fun, started in on the squash processing and made sure to start with the ones that looked the worst as far as possible mold damage. first one was rotted enough i discarded the whole thing. the 2nd one i did get it done and it looked ok, but the texture looked a bit strange to me.

then for the rest of the largest squash all of them were completely wrong, smelled rancid and looked like they never fully ripened. even the squash that had some color on them before i picked them didn't have what i would expect inside.

so that was about 80% of what i planned on eating that went out to the weed pile for the animals to feast upon.

then i started going through the smaller squash. the only one that turned out to be edible in those was the lone buttercup squash. the kabochas were all too small and didn't have even viable seeds or orange colored flesh inside it was more green than anything. the few baby blue hubbards were also not fully formed.

so instead spending a few days processing and putting them up we just ate the buttercup squash for dinner and the other large squash that i did 2nd i'm cooking up now so we can eat the rest of it. i cooked up a few chunks first to make sure it was worth it and while it was texturally not quite what i like and the flavor was rather bland it was still edible. so we'll eat it. but none of this season's squash harvest will end up in the freezer. :(

i'm glad we have packages left over from the previous season. 😥
 

Branching Out

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well that wasn't much fun, started in on the squash processing and made sure to start with the ones that looked the worst as far as possible mold damage. first one was rotted enough i discarded the whole thing. the 2nd one i did get it done and it looked ok, but the texture looked a bit strange to me.

then for the rest of the largest squash all of them were completely wrong, smelled rancid and looked like they never fully ripened. even the squash that had some color on them before i picked them didn't have what i would expect inside.

so that was about 80% of what i planned on eating that went out to the weed pile for the animals to feast upon.

then i started going through the smaller squash. the only one that turned out to be edible in those was the lone buttercup squash. the kabochas were all too small and didn't have even viable seeds or orange colored flesh inside it was more green than anything. the few baby blue hubbards were also not fully formed.

so instead spending a few days processing and putting them up we just ate the buttercup squash for dinner and the other large squash that i did 2nd i'm cooking up now so we can eat the rest of it. i cooked up a few chunks first to make sure it was worth it and while it was texturally not quite what i like and the flavor was rather bland it was still edible. so we'll eat it. but none of this season's squash harvest will end up in the freezer. :(

i'm glad we have packages left over from the previous season. 😥
So sorry to hear that your squash harvest fell short of what you were expecting. I had never been interested in growing winter squash, and then last year not one but two friends gave me gifts of squash: a butternut squash, and a red kuri squash. I found a recipe online for a squash soup with coconut milk, and it was absolutely delicious. This experience inspired me to grow Red Kuri (it did poorly) and Sunshine squash (it did well) this year, and I have ordered some rather funky looking squash seeds to try next year. It is amazing how quickly gardeners can inspire each other through their generosity of knowledge and home grown produce. I hope that someone you know had a good crop, and that they are able to share some with you.
 

digitS'

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I have problems with Winter squash maturing. Several varieties of kabocha have had a chance after I discovered Cha Cha. Avoiding those with longer days to maturity didn't help. Cha Cha seems to have less availability so I should continue with exploring.

I prefer that kabocha to Burgess Buttercup because of that blossom end "cup" wasted space. Buttercup doesn't have a very short dtm but it has worked for me for many years.

I wonder if your high water table is a squash problem. Mine is likely the cool nights.

@Branching Out , pumpkin bisque is very tasty. DW and I need to get more into that - here in the middle of Soup Season :).

Steve
 

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