Summer moves on and mice move in

Ah, ranch life, at this time of the year we are box-seat holders in Mother Nature’s Opera House.

Ah, ranch life, at this time of the year we are box-seat holders in Mother Nature’s Opera House, treated daily to some of the finest arias in her extensive repertoire!

From observing the colourful, ever-changing show of colours as leaves and foliage range from yellows, to oranges, to deep dark purples, watching as mule deer bucks shed antler fuzz and grow shiny coats, viewing young fawns and moose calves as they add size, strength in preparation for their first Cariboo winter.

On the home front, much of the garden has been harvested, the canning is done.

It’s time to cut wood, batten down the down hatches on the home-front (block draft sources, clean eaves troughs (if you have them) and the like).

In the barnyard; feed bunks are readied and repaired, cattle-waters’ checked and feed yard fences, mended.

Adversely, fall also heralds a marked increase in home-invasions (old log dwellings, particularly) as any creatures that can move in — do! Sigh, the battle begins again.

Those who reside within gear up to take back their space from the onslaught.

These uninvited guests worm their way in via small holes (slim cracks) as they access crawl spaces, attics, interior walls or any other space they can fit into.

Totally unsolicited intrusions by various types of rodents and other equally unwelcome creatures, mice, squirrels, rats, bats, even the odd bird. Often I think it would be much easier to clear a herd of cows out of the kitchen as opposed to locating (and removing) one tiny pesky rodent who is wreaking havoc in the dry goods or the loo-paper storage cupboards, although the cows would likely leave more poop-sign.

With experience, you eventually figure out the most likely hiding places in which to begin the hunt so that you can fast-track the ejection process.

Ranch-life is a constant challenge, in more ways than you might imagine!

Liz Twan is a rancher and freelance columnist for the Tribune/Weekend Advisor.

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