Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
This morning the count is 2 raccoons and one possum in the traps around our house in Collinsville. There would probably be one more animal except the Critter Control guy forget to set a 4th trap yesterday. We're going to be in the poor house by the time this all ends because we pay for each caught animal.
All this makes me wonder just what our street has looked like during the middle of the night. Raccoons all over the place.
Got the update from Critter Control. They came out to check the traps which were set and baited yesterday. 4 traps were set and each one had a raccoon in it today! 4 Raccoons! I mean, come on. 4 new traps were then set in place and seriously, I hope they don't all fill up tonight. This is crazy.
Met with John from Critter Control yesterday afternoon so that we could free ourselves from a raccoon problem. He laughed a bit when he got out of his truck because he's been here so often he knows our schedule as well as the property. He is very knowledgeable about the habits of any non domestic animal which could take up residence in or around your house and he's able to bound up roof lines like no one I've ever seen.
This is not the critter we want taken away.
There's John checking the soffiting.
He's way up there.
He did a complete study of the roof and soffiting as well as the yard and underside of the deck and front porch. Thankfully he did not believe a raccoon had gotten into the soffiting or under the roof and into the attic, but he did recommend listening at night to see if any rustling might be heard in the attic because raccoons can easily slide down the attic vent on the roof. He is going to cover the opening of ours. I told him we had a big hole under a rose bush in the back yard and that Ferdie has been very interested in that hole. Ferdie led him right to it and after looking at it, John said it was definitely a groundhog hole but that other animals, including raccoons will take over holes like that. And he found raccoon droppings under our deck which led him to believe that there were two sizes, one of an adult and smaller piles indicating a young animal.
He ended up setting up 4 traps, one under the deck, one just outside the deck, and one on each side of the front porch. His bait which went in the trap and around the outside of the trap consisted of mini marshmallows, cat food, dog food and splatters of canned tuna. Needless to say when I saw that I put Ferdie in the house. Unfortunately our next door neighbors' cat was out and very interested in that buffet and it wasn't until we were about to leave that the neighbor showed up and I was able to warn him that the cat might be trapped if he didn't get in the house.
So we'll see what happens. Hopefully something has been caught overnight. The Critter Control people will check the traps every day and leave a note in a cardboard tube letting us know what if anything had been caught. John asked me how many animals we wanted caught! I told him, "All of them"!
As we were about to drive off our other next door neighbor came home from work and asked what was going on. After telling him, he told me he thinks a deer has gotten into his backyard and is eating his elephant ear plants and knocking over his birdbath. Frankly, I just can't get into dealing with anymore animals!
According pumpkin farmers in Illinois, this is a banner year thanks to a wet spring and dry warm summer. If you've been in grocery stores in September you probably would have noticed huge pumpkins selling for 5 dollars which is a big change from the last couple of years when pumpkins were closer to ten dollars. And the bumper crop is the reason they're so reasonably priced.
I had to laugh, however, because Schnuck's raised their pumpkin prices from 5 dollars during September to 8 or 9 dollars as soon as we got to October 1. Halloween coming means more people wanting pumpkins so why not get as much as you can for them. Not very nice, though.
We tried growing pumpkins on the campus this year and we also had a good crop of small pumpkins planted from seed, many of which were the pie pumpkins. We wanted numbers for this first effort rather than size.
Here's one of the baskets we put in the seminary food bank for families with kids.
Pumpkins by the table. Pumpkins by the chair. Pumpkins by the door. Pumpkins everywhere!
"Aldi Supermarkets said it is pulling red grapes from its St Louis area stores after a black widow spider was found in a red grape container."
The headline to this story is somewhat misleading: St. Louis County Grocer Pulls Food from Shelves After Finding Deadly Spider
Later in the story there's this: "Experts at the St Louis Zoo say the widow’s bite is venomous and can make humans sick but is not lethal." In any event, the Black Widow spider has worked its way into bags of grapes coming from vineyards in California where they like to nestle in and make webs. Advice from this story is if you see a Black Widow in your produce or anywhere else, don't handle it but capture it and put it in a container.
Which leads to an unanswered question: "How do you capture a spider and get it into a container without handling it?"
Now's the time to get at your lawn. It's amazing to look at the Popular Mechanics site because you might expect to see stories on, well, mechanical things like car engines and stuff. But PM is a wealth of information on all sorts of things including lawn care. Take some time on the lawn now and next spring you'll be amazed at how good it looks.
The answer isn't tree roots. "Wastewater officials across the country have been trying to spread the message that not just anything can go down the toilet, and they have recently taken aim at wipes." Yes the omnipresent 'wipes'. Wipes are everywhere and used for everything these days. Everything from babies to cleaning bacteria off of kitchen counters to cosmetic removal.
And more often than not they're being flushed down toilets which is causing a huge back-up. These wipes do not break down as toilet tissue does and for that matter kleenex doesn't really loose it's shape either.
We should rethink how we dispose of the wipes to save ourselves the headache of sewer backups. I do draw the line at believing one other item the story claims is flushed down toilets and that is kitty litter. If you flush kitty litter you may just deserve the arrival of Router Rooter.