For Mike Oehler: How to Get Rid of Gophers... Well, i should really call it how to get rid of Woodchucks, because that is certain... The following method is 100% verified to work on Woodchucks a.k.a. Groundhogs, in Northern New England in 1971. I have applied it myself on only that one occasion, in New Hampshire, where my sister was told of it by a neighbor, and I see no reason to doubt that it was the immediate cause of the voluntary emigration of a family of Ground Hogs (a male, a female, and four little ones) as witnessed by myself two to three days later, from the property on which a garden was planted, that said critters were in the process of decimating at the time. I honestly do not know whether it will work on pocket, or true gophers, which are a different genus, in Idaho, but i would say, all things considered, that there is more to indicate for it than against it, given the basic similarity in diet, habits, and habitat. If the method is applied and succeeds with Gophers, it would not surprise me one bit, and i would say it is worth a try. To attempt this method of non-lethal albeit discourteous action resulting in voluntary emigration of said critters. You will need the following: 1.) Several polyethylene bags. (The size for woodchucks is one size larger than sandwich bags, the next size up, sometimes called food storage bags. Gophers may require a smaller size, as they are smaller critters by and large, and may have smaller tunnels. 2.) While the method may be employed with only one actor/participant, I think the more the merrier, in my experience with this method there were three human participants. Some possible variations, and some common sense conjecture will be included a bit further on. 3.) A relatively springy pole of some sort, thin enough, and flexible enough to extend for some distance down the animal's burrow, yet broad enough at "the business end" to nearly fill the burrow, which will be employed in the manner that a ram rod is used to prime a cannon. Procedure: From one to several human participants will save their feces in plastic bags for anywhere from 3 to 7 days (this will vary with the size of the gopher colony, the number of existing burrow entrances, and the number of human volunteers.) The plastic bags may be knotted at their tops for easy storage prior to deployment, when they will be opened to deploy their payload. The eventual object, regardless of the manner of collection, is to deposit one to two or even three human turds at every burrow entrance with the accompanying plastic bag ahead of, or behind it, in the manner that wadding is used when loading a flintlock, and then ramming the entire mess towards the central mound of the burrow, for as long a distance as possible, to foul as much tunnel as possible, using the springy pole. It is permissible, and indeed, may prove salutary to sing or whistle an appropriate melody at this time, e.g. "Ol' Ground Hog" "Hi Ho Hi Ho" (Seven Dwarves Labor Song) "The Nationale" "The Overture of 1812" etc. as well as possibly to imbibe an alcoholic beverage. Also, the "fencing posture" a.k.a. "Captain Morgan's pose" may be adopted when using the ramrod for dramatic effect. In order to be maximally effective, the following three criteria should be in evidence. a.) All current burrow entrances and exits must be treated. b.) Adequate repellant employed (three feet of fouling minimum per tunnel advisable). Again extending towards, and as close as possible to central mound(s). c.) plastic may remain in holes, at least for awhile, as (i believe) it may render the entire situation even more difficult for the critters to deal with. Possible additions. The ingestion of enzyme suppliments generally result in a pronounced increase in the odor of human feces. This may not be necessary, but Floradix markets an all natural herbal enzyme formula that was originated by Paracelsus. Guaranteed really stinky poops, plus, it is good for you. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Here is what happened on the one occasion that i used it on a family of Woodchucks and witnessed the results: Prior to the experiment, a garden hose, firecrackers, peeing around the five burrow entrances had all been tried for approximately 2 weeks with no noticeable effect. At the urging of a neighbor, who claimed success with the same method, three people collected their poop in plastic bags for about three days, and the aforementioned technique was employed, taking care that every ingress and egress from the main burrow was well fouled. Approximately two days later, i personally witnessed a male woodchuck, followed by a smaller female, followed in turn by 4 little woodchucks, walking by the property line on the other side of the house. As i stood there open mouthed in astonishment, the male stood up on his hind legs and read me the riot act for a full ten minutes. It was quite a speech, and i believe that if i understood Woodchuck, it is likely my ears would have been burned to the ground. Every couple of minutes, he would travel a little further, and then thinking of something he had omitted, or wished to add, would stop, and give me what fer again, during which time, his wife and chirren,would stop respectfully behind him and pay close attention, while watching me sideways. This display went on for 10 or 15 minutes, until the house blocked the view, at which point i snuck down the driveway, and was able to see the Woodchuck family waddling down the side of the two lane road, single file in the long grass. One important point: This was in mid-summer. Carrots were the main casualty, and were still small. I would suggest any time from early spring to mid- summer, on grounds of compassion (more or less) as the Gophers (assuming they might enjoy the party favors about as much as Woodchucks apparently do) must have time both to relocate and to gather food for the winter, if they are not to starve. Anyway, hope this helps, the books and DVD's are great, thank you very much. Chris Cheney New York, New York
I’m new to blogging, so please bear with me. I’ll hopefully have a fairly significant personal message in a few days, but for now please check out the two items we’ve posted here. One is from my book The Hippy Survival Guide to Y2K. The other is from permies.com which is Paul Wheaton and other great people’s site.
Before I get another sentence let me state that I am one poor person to be preaching spirituality. I have lusted all my life. I have frequently gotten drunk. I have abused drugs. I have coveted material things. I have been vindictive, arrogant, envious, jealous egotistical and otherwise mean spirited. So I am not going to preach. What I will do is tell you some spirited paths I’ve found that have helped me greatly.
Spirituality is the ultimate survival skill. When one is primarily on a spiritual quest the desire for material object is effectively lessened. This can make an enormous difference to us in the coming trials since we stand a big chance of losing many of our goodies. We will be in states of shock and anguish. Yet if we learn to not mind losing them there is no loss. Material goodies are to Americans as alcohol is to a drunk. In both cases, losing the craving is a benefit.
As homesteading is the antidote to industrialism, spirituality is the antidote to materialism. The Bible inveighs heavily against the unnecessary accumulation of wealth. Jesus suggested that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a wealthy man to enter the kingdom of God for, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also, ”Buddha taught that only in the cessation of desire is happiness possible. Warren Johnson explores the concept nicely:
The Eastern religions take this ideal of wanting less much further, and suggest that liberation is the cessation of all desire. Emerson and Thoreau were both influenced by Hinduism; Emerson’s philosophy of transcendentalism is very close to it. Thoreau, knowing how practical his fellow Americans were, attempted to express the logic of reduced desire in a practical way, to show that it made life better even for selfish reasons. He suggested that happiness is the result when achievements were divided by desires, which can be expressed as:
Happiness = achievements/desires
If ones desires are great, unhappiness and disappointment are almost inevitable since achievements are likely to fall short of them … (and) desires tend to rise with achievements. The better solution is to reduce desires, since this is done the figure for happiness rises; as desire approaches zero, a mathematician would tell us that the figure for will reach infinity, regardless of what one’s achievements are. In Buddhism and Hinduism, this is enlightenment, liberalism or nirvana, the goal of life, but to have survived for thousands of years, there must be some wisdom in that we, in our cultural youthfulness, do not yet appreciate.
One of the ways of sublimating unwholesomeness desires is by learning to serve others, “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve,” wrote Albert Schweitzer.
To serve our fellow humans and other creatures on this planet is to serve the divinity for there is a spark of God in all of us. To serve truly selflessly involves subduing the ego – a tall order, but also infinitely rewarding. Serving others is one of the routes to reunion with God, a way of achieving God consciousness. There is a whole path in yoga devoted to this approach called karma yoga.
Service to others used to be the primary goal in life for many. This was so even in industrial America until the 1960s. It was most commonly expressed in the raising of families. The functions of fathers were to serve the family in the outer world, producing food or cash, by providing the protection and shelter and by being the authority figure, the discipliner within the family. Mothers served by being the loving core of the family by being hourly examples of selflessness, by providing nourishment and nurture. This is what Phyllis McGinley means when she writes in “Sixpence in Her Shoe”; “Women fulfill themselves best when they give themselves away… that is, after all, the mysterious honor and obligation of women – to keep this planet in orbit. We are the self-immolators, the sacrificers, the givers, not the eaters-up of life. To say arbitrarily, as some psychologists and propagandists do, that is our duty to be busy elsewhere than at home is pretentious nonsense,”