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Pictured: the adorable hedgehog who has put on a little show for the surveillance cameras all evening.

Not pictured: the giant rat who has been eating my chicken feed all night. The sonofabitch is a LOT faster than I am and managed to scoot before I could catch him every single time. I’ve got him now, though — I found his tunnel. He’d cleverly dug it behind the ramp to the henhouse so I never spotted it before.

Let’s see if you can dig through a brick, rattus!


Comment from Niña
Time: June 14, 2017, 10:54 pm

Good luck with the rat!

Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: June 14, 2017, 10:56 pm

Good luck with that strategy… those rodents will dig around it if they can’t gnaw through it. Something that collapses around them and engulfs the nasty rat would be perfect. Something like a native species of hungry, constrictor reptile set loose in its tunnel would be perfect.
Chain kingsnakes have the perfect personality: shy, diligent, non-intrusive to humans, not dangerous to cats… what’s not to love except snake. I like snakes better than rats.

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: June 14, 2017, 11:24 pm

Mole traps for the rat.

Comment from Armybrat
Time: June 15, 2017, 12:17 am

Drop a chunk of dry ice in the tunnel and fill in the opening. They suffocate in their tunnels.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: June 15, 2017, 1:57 am

Air rifle. You can still get one up to 12.5 ft·lbf without an FAC.

Comment from Monty James
Time: June 15, 2017, 2:02 am

I’m guessing a .22 isn’t a possibility.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: June 15, 2017, 11:35 am

I suppose sending a badger in to winkle the bugger out is not an option.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: June 15, 2017, 1:43 pm

It’s always fascinated me that some animals have the same genus and species name. It’s as if they are THE examples of their kind. Rattus rattus, Bison bison, Meles meles, Vulpes vulpes. They’re called “tautonyms,” and here’s a list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tautonyms

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: June 15, 2017, 2:18 pm

Your stone planter looks very nice.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: June 15, 2017, 3:45 pm

I guess the chickens are not alarmed by the hedgehogs.

Comment from dustoffmom
Time: June 15, 2017, 5:27 pm

Curious here in Tennessee to know what are the, seemingly, glowing eyes off to the right?!

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: June 15, 2017, 5:34 pm

Deborah: How’d that meatloaf turn out?

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: June 15, 2017, 5:57 pm

Jeez, Ric Fan, that sounds like the euphemism to end all euphemisms.

“Hey Deborah, want some more… meatloaf?” (leer, wink, nudge)

Maybe you could try it in a fake German accent, like Lili von Shtupp.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: June 15, 2017, 6:12 pm

“glowing eyes off to the right?!”

I just assumed it was an English garden gnome.
Because that’s where you get fairy shit particles, though Ms Stoaty claims she’s out of them.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: June 15, 2017, 8:05 pm

You guys are so funny.
The meatloaf was delicious, but that’s because I faithfully followed the recipe (which is not mine.) Tonight I will gently fry slices of the cold meatloaf in a drizzle of olive oil for sandwiches, the primary reason for making meatloaf anyway.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 15, 2017, 8:18 pm

My meatloaf was also spectacular.

Those ‘eyes’ are reflection in various shiny surfaces. I’ve tried to move those out of the way tonight to avoid confusion. I’m reviewing the footage trying to ID our visitor.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: June 15, 2017, 8:29 pm

“drizzle of olive oil”
I’ve heard of lousy weather, but…

“Gaius Tortum Cibum slipped through the darkness to the postern door of the castrum, his leather cloak snugged tightly around his shoulders as he tried in vain to keep out the cold and damp of Brittania Secunda. Outside a gentle drizzle of olive oil left the cobbled road leading to the gate glistening, and slippery…”

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: June 15, 2017, 8:54 pm

Durnedyankee, that sounds like Ian Fleming wrote it.

“Cautiously, he checked the fit of his MkIII Gladius in the custom built Bianchi shoulder scabbard and took another sip of his vintage Falernum and garum…”

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: June 15, 2017, 9:23 pm

The sharp crockery clatter of a brick dislodged from the fornice wall beside him caused him to draw the gladius in a swift motion and leap back at the ready. The flickering light from the lucerna revealed two dark beady eyes staring back at him from a new hole in the wall.

“Rattus rattus” he mumbled under his breath, the damn beasts were everywhere. Now, if only the guards had not heard the racket.

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: June 15, 2017, 10:36 pm

“Good evening, Centurion Cibum, we’ve been expecting you” said the familiar voice.

Okay, that’s more of a movie Bond thing. But still…

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: June 15, 2017, 10:40 pm

I wonder if there was such a thing as “garum breath”?

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: June 15, 2017, 11:29 pm

@Steve Skubinna & Ric Fan

No no, the whole Iacobus Bond thing works rather well!

We didn’t even get to the part where Caput Q Genere tells him they would really rather he stopped carrying that MKIII Gladius in favor of something with more penetration!

This looks like the opening of the movie – after he dispatches Ernstus Stavronium IctuAgri (yet again, because of course that’s who it has to be) in the Broccoli style we’d have the traditional shadowy roman slave girls diving nude into a tepidarium around him as he strikes various combat positions in his tunic while the credits roll by.

and based on what I understand of garum, yes, I just bet there was such a thing as garum breath, though I wonder if anyone would notice. When everyone smells, no one really does.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: June 16, 2017, 2:07 pm

Iacobus Bond, hey? Good work, all of you.

If you’re into Bond parodies, check out the vintage Sol Weinstein parodies Loxfinger and Matzohball, featuring Hebrew secret agent Israel Bond, Oy-Oy-Seven!

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: June 16, 2017, 4:58 pm

Garum breath? Well, if you’ve ever had fish sauce in SE Asia you’d figure yup, it’s possible. But as noted, if everyone is eating it then nobody notices it.

Incidentally Worcestershire sauce is probably not too far from garum, but with a more complex ingredient list. And I have a bottle of mushroom ketchup I made from an old Hannah Glass recipe which is very pungent, sort of like Worcestershire on steroids.

And finally, the Italians use anchovies as a general purpose seasoning in many dishes you would not expect, because they dissolve into the sauce (i.e. Puttanesca). The Italians knew about umami before anybody even had a word for it. I know of one video chef who refers to anchovies as “Italian MSG.”

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