Summer’s Here!

We’ve seen some pretty warm temps the last few days which worked out great for the July 1st Canada Holiday this year. On Tuesday we celebrated our country’s 147th birthday by not doing much other than enjoying the very nice day. As we were sitting in bed reading last night we heard all the fireworks from across the lake, although we’d need to cut down quite a few trees in the ravine in order to see the show. Maybe we’ll have to arrange that for next year.

We’ve heard a lot of people complaining about the weather around here this year, but I still can’t figure out what all the fuss is about. I was reading on the local news sites that our total accumulation of rain in June was only about 60% of normal, and substantially less than the last 2 years that we’ve experienced here in the Okanagan. The average temps last month were slightly below normal, but by only less than a degree from the historical averages and certainly no worse than we’ve experienced in the last couple of Junes. I guess our glass is half full rather than half empty.

We’ve been hearing lots of birds all around our yard, and have been waiting for our resident quail to finally make an appearance with the next generation. That finally happened this week, and we’ve seen two different families wandering around the yard. One group is at least a week or two older than the other, and is already starting to fly so we’re surprised that we haven’t seen them until now. They sure are cute.

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I finally finished spreading the last of the mulch around our gardens, and the dark colour really looks good. Or at least it did until our least favourite rodent decided to leave his mark. What I thought was a vole ended up leaving us a tunnel about 2.5 inches across right in the middle of our front garden, far too big for a vole. I haven’t seen the varmint, but I figure it’s got to be a gopher as they’ve been reported in the news as a problem here on the Westside. They sure leave a big pile of dirt behind which doesn’t do much for the overall look in the garden.

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My last attempt at discouraging them involved spreading mothballs around the garden which I’ve since covered in mulch. This seems to have worked at the back of the yard as we’ve not had any more mounds of dirt growing in the lawn, but obviously didn’t work in the front of the yard. We’ll see what happens next, but I’m still tempted to sit outside in the dark with a shotgun and see if I can collect enough pelts to make my own Davy Crockett hat.

After reading in a couple of the comments on our last blog that Bounce sheets discourage mice from hanging around we purchased an economy size box and I’ve spread them all over the inside of the trailer. We’ll see if it works, but in the meantime the trailer will at least smell April Fresh, whatever that is. I just hope the mice don’t decide to use the sheets for bedding, as there’s lots of material ready and waiting for them.

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Our local deer has continued to leave our roses alone, but they’ve finally discovered our lettuce, as a lot of the romaine we planted has been cropped off about 6 inches from the ground. Oh well, the fresh greens have been nice while they lasted. I haven’t been able to find Deer Fence up here, but I’ve been given a few other ideas on what to use to discourage them. We’ll see how those work, but I’m not holding my breath. The interesting thing is we haven’t seen the deer at all, but our neighbours keep telling us that they’re in the yard regularly. They’re sneaky devils I guess.

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The roses do smell wonderful.

Today we checked another item off our to-do list and cleaned all the glass panels on our deck. We’ve had an ongoing issue with window cleaning stretching back almost 40 years as I can’t seem to get a window clean without leaving some streaks behind. Last fall we purchased a Karcher WV50 powered squeegee, and after doing the windows and panels we’re convinced it is the best thing we’ve ever used on glass. I just looked at the item online, and they’ve dropped in price by about $30 since we bought ours, so it will be interesting to see if they stick around or if they’re clearing out stock before they discontinue them.

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Shortly after I finished the glass Mr. Murphy reared his ugly head and what started out as a brilliant sunny day turned dark and stormy just long enough to drop about 84 large raindrops on the glass and ruin what I thought was an almost perfect job. Oh well, at least the spots are surrounded by a lot of clean, clear glass.

We hope you had a great Canada Day, or if you’re south of the border enjoy the upcoming Independence Day long weekend.

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7 responses to “Summer’s Here!

  1. Hi Rod: Jerry and I have consulted. The many gophers we had around us in Calgary had tunnel entrances…not dirt cast offs. Those look a lot more like mole hills. If that’s what you’ve got, good luck. They were all over the lawns where I grew up in Matsqui. You’ll probably find a solution on line.
    I was trying to remember who asked about squirrel repellants. Was it you? Anyway, rubber snakes are supposed to keep them away. Unfortunately I can’t be much help with your deer problem. The Scarecrow we have here is fairly effective, but not selective and I think we get as many walkers as deer. Not too late to start lettuce again btw. We have some in four different stages of growth. It does very well in our window boxes, on the back deck. I think I’ll get some mixed greens next.
    I gave the neighbours some excitement a week ago. The city was digging up our water line, there was equipment everywhere, and I was doing a bit of weeding. I lost my balance, turned around and dropped in the flower bed, smacked my head on one of our rocks and needed three stitches. Poor Jerry.
    Love your roses. The colors are beautiful. You probably don’t miss the black spot at all 🙂
    Have a great summer.
    Lenore and Jerry.

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  2. If you figure out how to get rid of those moles/voles or whatever they are, let us know! Nice roses!

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  3. If weather was not the number one topic in most peoples’ lives, I wonder what would replace it.

    I am hoping the Bounce sheets will solve your mice issues. Keep your readers apprised on that score.

    As to voles, moles or gophers, I concur with your thought to sit out with a shotgun and blast the little varmints. Annoying, they are!!!

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  4. Looks like the hills of dirt that pocket gophers leave behind. We had them on the farm in Alberta. They like cultivated loose soil so are commonly found in flower beds and gardens. Chris bought some traps that you place at the mouth of the tunnel. If you carefully move the soil you will see that the dirt is covering an entrance. They are actually easy to trap and real ugly little creatures.

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  5. Rod, I think you should watch “Caddy Shack”, with Bill Murray in it. He had the same sort of problem and came up with some ‘good ideas’… depending on your point of view I suppose. In any case, you’ll have a good laugh.

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  6. You should be able to find deer fence at a farm (orchard) supply store along with the steel posts you pound in the ground. Just make sure you stake them down between the posts. The only thing we have not had problems with is digging rodents, I guess our raccoons keep them at bay.

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