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 has been quite a day. One of the high spots was getting to see first year seminary student and first year part time worker on grounds, Jacob, cut down his first tree. This is a rite of passage and not only was it successful, it was a hoot.
When Ferdie and I came across Jacob, Kevin, Adam and Nick they were headed toward the open lot next to our house. They tumbled out of two gators and Jake walked over to the tree with a long handled ax. Whoa.
Normally a chain saw is used.
But then Kevin, a second year student who has become experienced in the way of trees, told Jacob to put on the protective tree cutting chaps and get a chain saw. He then pointed out the best place to begin.
Then Jacob took over
What to do now? Well, get a thick rope and see if the gator will yank the last piece away.
And it did
Then late in the afternoon, a celebratory cigar for Jacob.
The 4 most excellent tree guys. Jacob, Nick, Kevin and Adam.
Yesterday as I was cleaning up leaves in Collinsville a neighbor from down the street drove up and gave me some advice about our raccoon population. I guess the people on the street are as shocked as we are over how many raccoons we've had trapped by Critter Control. Actually, the guy from Critter Control came yesterday while I was there and he told me in a good humored way that they've been constantly amazed at the number of raccoons we've had. He said, "You've probably cleared out the raccoons from the entire city."
Anyway, this neighbor woman, who I've never talked to until yesterday because she's rather new, told me that I need to get a chocolate cake and toss it out into the back yard. The raccoons will eat it and sh-t themselves to death. WOW!
I told Dale this story and he then related it to one of our students who is an outdoorsman in his spare time and he agreed that chocolate cake and raccoons is true and well known. WOW. But I doubt we'll will do it because we don't really want a yard filled with raccoon sh-t or dead raccoons.
This fall we've been in a constant battle with raccoons invading our yard and house. This week Critter Control bagged one more raccoon and of all things, a cat. The cat was released. Then there are the possums and mice. And deer flying into roadways. Then last night I saw this:
Seriously? Now we have to "tap" on our cars before we get in so that cats laying in the wheel wells will not get hurt? Bah
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!