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Friday, November 16, 2012

New neighbor....

For the first time ever ...we have a mouse problem.  Well, since we live arctic technically they are not mice.   They are called lemmings.  Or in our language we call them 'avingaaq.'

I have found that they are incredibly, incredibly annoying.  Some how they have discovered how to chew through the TWO thick tough bags that we use to store our dog food.  We have resorted to storing them high up on something that is impossible for them to climb.  But the fact that they are in our covered porch searching for food utterly terrorfies the OCD part of me.  I want to bleach the whole room after seeing their tiny, tiny footprints in the snow at the outside door.

My husband and I have had many conversations on how to deal with this problem.  So far I have tried natural repellents...which worked for a few weeks. And live traps, which to my horror caught one and then it starved to death.  Poison is absolutely out of the question, since we live in a huge ecosystem I am worried that something might decide to eat the poisoned mouse.  And then this last week I ordered plastic kills traps, becuase anything metal will freeze in the -45 degree weather.  Even then we are not sure if it will shatter or not.  But I am hesitant to use them. 

Sounds weird I know coming from a person that regular makes meals of animals and has very little qualms about killing wild animals.  But it seems like such a waste to me.  A huge part of the ecosystem depends on these tiny walking sacks of proteins and vitamins.  But to me they are just little programmed machines just doing what they should be doing, and I guess I hope they would give up and move on. 

But they haven't.

Yesterday we sat at the table examining the new mouse traps, trying to figure out of they would hold up to the job, when we heard a very terrified bark coming from one of our dogs.  It was an unusual high pitch panic yip.  Anyone who knows our home knows that our dogs pretty much bark at anything wih vigor and enthusiasm, so we know their barks well.  Dog code if you will.  We can even tell when certain individuals are walking past our house.  It's that particular.  This was a new bark...

We ran out and my husband heard a tiny squeak.  He called out that he thinks he heard a mouse and I rush in help him corner the bugger.   To our surprise we saw this little face darting about....

 I must admit that I squealed in a very un-adult manner at the tiny ears and bouncing face of a winter white coated ermine.  He darted about our belongings examining us.  He even came close and gave us a good sniff.  They are incredibly brave little buggers. 

In the winter time we often store some of the dog meat in the covered porch, a bone or whatnot ready to be distributed to the dogs that evening, and we figured that this guy sniffed our occasional stash out and was regularly visiting the porch to chew on them. 

These tiny predators are fast and sneaky, and are able to take down an arctic rabbit ten times their size.  They approach their prey with a sensuous dazzling wiggling dance to transfix them and then pounce on their backs and deliver a killing bite to the back of the neck. 

Legends tells us that if we keep our mouths open...or scream...they will jump in our mouths and choke us.   Don't you love the graphic nature of Inupiaq myth?

They also eat lemmings. 

Which is why we have decided that this new nighbor can stay for the time being....though we have taken to making sure that the meat is properly stored.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pumpkin and Captain Kirk.

Sometimes when I am thinking about what to write in this blog the voice saying it sounds exactly like Captain Kirk from Star Trek.  In my head these post always start with..'Stardate.....2012....'

Just goes to show how much of an ultra-geek I truly am. 

I am mortified by the gigantic gap in my posts for this blog.   It is like admitting to people that sometimes you don't brush your teeth for a few days at a time.  But I think that my problem was that there was literally too much things going on.  Too much to properly sort and fold and place where they belong.  It was nothing really bad mind you, though some if it is tragic and some of it is incredibly mundane and dry. 

So I thought I would at least break this weird spell with a short cathartic post.  One with some photos and some updates and interesting things. 

Part of the problem is that I have started devouring books again.  I usually try and pace myself so that I do not go broke and so that I am actually part of the 'real' world' for most of the hours of the day.  But unfortunately I have found a few authors that totally and utterly engrossed me, in a genre that I usually never visit: Mystery and Thrillers.  So for the past few weeks or so I have been wondering around the house with a book hangover, rushing through tasks so I could return back to those other worlds.  You would think at some point I would have learned to control my literary addiction....

I also turned 35 this month.  I have officially joined the next age bracket.  I am suspicious about aging, though I am really curious to see what my mid life crisis will look like.  I'm thinking it would be fun to fly to North Carolina and stalk Orson Scott Card. Or maybe I will take up fencing.

We also adopted another fuzzy puppy.  Her name is Pumpkin.  She is monstrous dog with a heart just as big.  I giggle at her when she snorts and gallops all over the place, which makes her snort and gallop even more.  She has become my 'go for a walk' dog as she never strays far and she is as slow as I am with my bad knee.  The other dogs are still wary of her, but that is something time can easily fix. 

I also wanted everyone to also know that 10% of my sales from all three of my Etsy stores will be donated for this month directly to the Red Cross to be used in relief efforts because of Super Storm Sandy.  You can click on the stores on the right of my blog page.  There was a few days when both I and my husband were waiting to hear from family and friends in the affected areas.  All of them are fine to our relief!

I promise to post more in the near future.  And thank you all for being so patient with me!

Here the snow grows from the top down. 

Napping ducks on their way down south for the winter.

Pumpkin. She is a bit of everything large: St. Bernard, rotty, teddy bear.

The the transition from fall to winter is all edges and hesitant touch.

Princess and Kimbo, brother and sister.  It is hilarious that I have so much photos of them running around haphazardly. 

Frost is my new obsession.