Posted by: littlehouseonthebigisland | September 9, 2014

Whole Lotta Rats

The day after they arrived, Vanya and Lola reported hearing scurryings and squeakings in the ceilings anc592541052d6cee4d331f955228e9be4d walls of their new home at night.  It was the weekend so James tore open a good deal of the roof, to discover a bounty of stinking nests.  With a spade and a couple of buckets he removed what he could and put the roof back on.  Then he laid traps.  By the following evening Cream had caught one and left the severed head in Juli’s bathroom.  Also the traps had been reset six times.

Did I mention that one of the traps was put in the lower pineapple patch?  We have lost about 150 pounds of pineapple, but could not figure out what was hollowing them so that were it not for decay, they would have made adorable lanterns.  Was it hungry birds pecking?  Or was it… rats?

Having caught several rats in one ‘patch’, we will see.  Tonight James is moving up mountain to pineapple patch number two, to lay another trap.  If our pineapples are no longer being devoured, it will turn out to have been damage caused by rodents.

What is interesting though, is that we have already harvested two rounds of coffee, with no rat d5340386648_48fcd31845amage.  At first we thought  it was due to the influx of stray cats.  Mr. T. in particular is a vicious and thorough hunter, consuming his prey fur and all, leaving only the tail to speak to the rat’s demise.  But now I am wondering, too, if it has been the sweeter than sweet pineapple ‘bait’ that has diverted them from our coffee trees.

Now we must be alert to the remains of the rats from the traps, strewn in the grass.  At Magic Mountain Farm, not all is Magic.  At least some of what we do is strategic and practical.  We are doing what we can to geb35419a0t rid of the rats. But because we are organic and we care about the environment, the only dead rodents found here, will be free of poison.  When the mongoose, the owls and the hawk swoop in for the leftovers, they will thrive and not perish.  And the diversity, the balancing and the melding of wild and domesticated life that thrives here, is what we hope will continue to be the catalyst for the magic on our volcanic, mountain farm.

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