Monday, June 09, 2008

Cooled down???

6/6/08 Friday
I suppose you could say it’s cooled down now, relatively speaking. The high is predicted to be ninety seven degrees. Anything less than a hundred is good right now. The heat and strong wind burned the edges of the leaves on just about everything I have growing. Each one has a brown edge now. It just flat out killed some of the pepper plants.

After losing another potato plant I decided to go ahead and get the propane torch Harbor Freight has on sale. I’m inspired by the video I saw on U-tube where two guys were injecting propane into the gopher tunnels igniting it. You can see the earth rise as the explosion runs the length of the tunnel, clearly marking it’s path. This seems to be an effective way of destroying the gophers and their tunnels. From what I’ve read other gophers will reoccupy old tunnels whenever they can so destroying them is good.

Unfortunately the torch set up I got won’t work. I carefully uncovered the tunnel that led to the latest potato plant and, setting the nozzle into it ran the propane at full strength. When I went to light it almost nothing happened. Because gophers keep all their holes plugged the gas mixture was unable to flow through and fill the tunnels. This is partly due to the design of propane torches which mixes air with the gas simply by jetting the propane into a nozzle that is open and allows air to be drawn in. So what I need is a tank of pressurized oxygen such as used with a welding torch. This will force a gas air mix into the tunnels and I am sure is what the guys on U-tube did. But this will cost more money and the budget is tight. Perhaps we can find someone who has a bottle I can borrow. A small new empty bottle costs seventy bucks at Harbor Freight and still needs to be filled. Perhaps you can rent these. I don’t really know but need to find out. Gophers are a serious problem, cause serious and expensive damage, so require serious measures. They will always be an issue.

It looks like we have added a new member to the family. It’s the cat that wandered into Janie’s garage. Her name is Gracie. Janie graciously covered the cost of taking her to the vet and having her fixed. That will happen next week. Gracie is seven months old and other than having tapeworms is very healthy. It will take a while for Carman kitty to get used to this intruder to his domain but he will. Gracie already has commanded the dogs respect through some aggressive hissing and claw action. She jumped right at them, not far but enough to let them know she wasn’t taking any guff. But at the same time she keeps out of their inquisitive reach.

Milk jugs we use to protect some of the plants.

Chuck and Lillian have a bunch of kittens we had expressed interest in getting to keep the rats and other rodents population down. I think we will still do that. Tommy and Jamie stopped by yesterday to deliver an invitation to Chuck’s birthday party tomorrow. He’s turning fifty. My birthday is Sunday so it’s real close to his. They mentioned that they would probably take five of the kittens to the animal shelter. I think we will get maybe three of them. Cats don’t last long out here, at least outside ones don’t and these will all be outside cats. We may let Gracie go out but she will mostly be an inside cat.

I seem to be pretty drained today. Cherie thinks it’s because of how much time I’ve spent in the heat the last few days. That probably has something to do with it. But there is so much that needs to be done and I am always behind on it. I’m just tired all the time and when I come in to take breaks from the heat I often drift in and out of sleep.


Amy # said...

Happy Birthday Bob! My husband's was on Sunday too, he turned 41!

I am having gopher problems too, so will wait anxiously to see how you solve the problem...

Bob said...

Yeah, Me too Amy. Just talked to an old friend we knew back in the church I had been involved in, the one I just talked about a few posts ago, who called to say that using gum is supposed to work. You chew it just enough to get it pliable and stick it in the gopher holes. They are attracted to the sweetness and eat it. Fran said that they can't digest it so it kills them.