Almost three years to the day, I published the following two paragraphs . . . and let me say, the smackin’ frackin #@$%! moles never left. But, I am getting ahead of myself, and next week’s exciting conclusion to, Of Moles and Men!
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For the first time EVER in the history of our back yard we have moles. Those blind smackin’ frackin #@$%! moles. I am no molologists, but I assume we just went through the perfect mole winter. I base this on the fact when the snow melted our lawn was criss- crossed with raised tunnels and mounds.
I was shock and appalled by the damage the moles in my life have created. When the clayish soil of my yard was still mushy, I smashed and stamped and stomped on the entire mole underground network. All for naught. They have returned. Does anybody know any top secret, olde world, sure fire ways to get rid of these varmits?
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That was April 26, 2006. By the second week in May, 2006 I published . . .
It’s a sad and melancholy tale. A story of a man clinging to a dream with sweaty, dirt-stained fingers. Some surmise, sadly, his steadfastness to this dream is simpleminded folly.
But I ask, what is wrong with a man wanting to live his life in a garden of his own creation? Why shouldn’t he reap the fruits of his labor? John Steinbeck, aside, it’s a sad day in Mudville with the best laid plans o? moles and men go awry.
It’s not that I hate Scalopus Aquaticus (the common Eastern Mole), I just wish they’d stay in my neighbors? yards and leave mine alone. Sorry Kathy and Mike and Kathy and Greg, but when it comes to vermin, chivalry be damned. It’s every neighbor for himself! Seriously, what is a mole’s function? What is their purpose in the cosmos?
I know, I know. ‘Don,? some of you are saying, ‘jump off the mole persecution wagon.?
‘It’s easy,? you continue, ‘to discriminate against a creature which spends 99 percent of its time in a hole and who is blind and will never read your column, let alone be able to defend itself. Don, don’t be a mole-ophobe.?
To you I say, get off my cloud. I vote you off the island. Take your mole-huggin? ways and be gone. I banish you from reading my column anymore. I have no time for you. Scram!
I don’t care if you think I am a heartless Scalopus Aquaticus basher, I want the moles outta? my yard, period.
After I whined about moles a while back, two readers responded, Teri Dinser and Laura Douglas.
Opined Teri: Moles — people will give you a variety of means to eliminate them. We have found the only reliable method is this. On a nice afternoon in spring or summer, as you relax in the yard with your chosen refreshment (read ‘beer?), have a pitchfork handy. You will see the varmint move through the ground, as the dirt above will shuffle as it passes. Set refreshment in safe place, grasp handle of pitchfork and proceed to area of disturbance. Insert the pitchfork into the area of disturbance. If the disturbance continues, repeat the process of insertation until the disturbance has ceased.?
Yikes, that sounds pretty violent. But, she did sign off her e-mail with, ‘have a nice day,? so she can’t be too psychotic, can she?
Reader Laura actually wrote her own column on her exploits in mole eradication. After reading of Laura’s problems, I feel better about mine. It sounds as if she spent an entire summer trying to find a way to rid her yard of moles. She tried ye ol? pitchfork operation, and . . .
She went to the gardening catalogs bought and erected windmill kinda things. These worked at first, ‘but I guess it’s like moving into a house close to the airport, at first the noise drives you nuts, but soon you don’t even hear it.? And . . .
Laura tried to gas ’em out by throwing cyanide bombs into their tunnels. ‘They don’t work, but I must admit, there’s something about seeing green gas seeping from your lawn that is quite therapeutic.? And . . .
She tried the spring-loaded, mole guillotine. Nothing. She even bought — get this — bobcat urine. ‘No,? she reports, ‘it didn’t get rid of my moles and I couldn’t get my cats to go outside for over a month!?
Here’s her ‘Holy Grail? of mole eradication.
‘I went to visit my old neighbors in Cleveland, one of whom was a 75-year-old farmer, and the whole time I was telling my ‘mole story? he was laughing so hard. He even called over one of his other farmer friends to share the laugh. Finally, he imparted upon me his holy wisdom, which I shall now pass on to you . . .
‘You figure out a main ‘running path? — you’ll know — then you take a trowel and gently remove the top. Dig out the bottom of the tunnel just enough so that a mouse trap can lie flush. Set the trap; put a piece of cardboard or something over the hole you made in the top, then — GET OUT THE CIGARS!!?
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Here’s some mole factoids for you:
* A mole can dig 14.76 feet in a hour.
* Moles are not endangered, just misunderstood critters subject to persecution by avid gardeners and farmers.
* In cooking, mole comes from the Aztec word ‘molli? meaning concoction, stew or sauce. So, ‘Holy Molli? means sacred stew.
* Every Oct. 23, from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m. eggheads celebrate National Mole Day. It was created by pointy-headed poindexters in academia to commemorate Avogadro’s Number (6.02 x 10 23). I think mole is short for molecule?
And, finally from Tom Schmidt (themoleman.com), ‘Remember, talk and lousy service won’t control moles.? My question: Will a few goodly written words do the trick?
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So, three years have passed . . . and the moles returned. But this year I was ready. I wanted to take back what was rightfully mine, my back yard. I called my favorite animial control folks, Critter Catchers out of Ortonville. Next week, I’ll tell you what happened.
So, stay tuned . . . same Mole Channel, same Mole time!