Thursday, January 22, 2015
Owl House #3
The last of our gopher hunting cats passed on several years ago, and the current crop of five felines is useless at capturing anything larger than very small mice (which they bring in the house and release). The gopher population has risen with every year and they chew off the roots of trees, vines and flowers and leave their nasty little holes everywhere. Trapping them is nominally effective, but it takes a lot of sweat and effort digging holes, setting traps and rearranging things when they need to be moved.
It was so much easier when the cats just did the job and all that was left for us to do was gather up the carcasses strewn about the driveway. I think back on those days wistfully.
We already have two owl houses set in trees in the far corners of our property. However, because the owls don't seem to want to swing by the house where the gopher's are quickly gnawing through my plants, we decided to place one right outside the garden fence. Last autumn we bought a new owl house at a native plant sale that had been built by a nice elderly gentleman from the Audubon Society. He does good work -- the house is sturdy, but not too heavy.
We got it hung easily enough. I dropped one screw in the dirt, but Bruce found it. The owl house didn't come crashing down and I didn't fall off the ladder at all. Success.
Now we hang out a "vacancy" sign and wait.