Solving Problems

The weather has been so cold and crappy here for the past couple of  months that I stayed inside and didn’t inspect the yard or the garden beds. Sunday it was very warm and I ventured out and saw this.

Well, I was alarmed. This was a critter hole in the middle of the strawberry bed. Was there still a critter in the hole? What sort of critter was it?  A mole? A skunk or weasel? A bunny?

My initial response was to put a garden hose down the hole and turn it on and see what emerged. Husband said “I don’t want to see what emerges! What if it is angry and aggressive? It might bite!” I looked for a back door hole in another part of the garden but I couldn’t see one.

I am a trial and error problem solver. I like to push buttons and see what happens.  Husband likes to think before he does things.  While husband was putting on his shoes to join me in the garden, I hooked up a hose and drenched the hole. Nothing emerged. It was a fairly shallow hole and I suspect it was abandoned by a bunny after her young grew up. Husband plugged it with brick pavers.  Today we saw a medium sized, somewhat perplexed bunny sitting by the bricked up hole.

The strawberry plants are popping up and I predict a lot of jam this July. What would I have done if an angry skunk or gopher plunged out of the hole? Well, I would just have ran back into the house as fast as I could and purchased a live, humane trap to catch the critter and remove it to the country. What could go wrong?

How do you solve problems?  What kind of critter encounters have you had in your yard or garden?






34 thoughts on “Solving Problems”

  1. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Ooohhh, this is the kind of problem, the rabbit problem, that makes my blood boil. After all, I am the one in my yard chasing bunnies out of nooks and crannies with purpose and passion. After the earth thawed last week, we finally got our fenceless dog containment system repaired. So now, our beagle-ish dog can chase the bunnies out of the yard with her usual fervor. Our beagle-ish dog is part of the solution. Good garden fences are another where hungry bunnies are concerned.

    Generally I am a combination of Renee and her husband. At first I cautiously push some buttons, hoping for an easy solution. If that does not work, then I retreat to deliberate, step-by-step analysis. Often, though, I am not patient enough for such deliberation, at which point the solution is to hire someone who does possess such patience to solve it.

    During the discussion yesterday, NS described a certain character’s May Basket. It included lefse. That made me laugh and question the character’s problem-solving ability. If I received a May Basket that included lefse, I would pitch it immediately. I loathe lefse, bad Norwegian-American that I am. No May Basket-inspired friendship would ever follow lefse.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Whenever possible, I like to think things through before I spring into action. But, truth be told, there’s not a whole lot “springing” into action anymore. Just not that much of a bounce left in these legs of mine.
    I keep thinking that if I ponder something long enough, eventually the solution to whatever I’m contemplating will present itself. When all else fails, I’ll ask for help; let someone who knows what they’re doing take care of it.

    Most critter encounters I’ve had have been with rabbits. They eat the heads off of my tulips which I really don’t appreciate one bit. Fortunately they don’t like daffodils, so I have planted more of those. Squirrels can be a nuisance, too, especially when they chew through the soffit (or is it the fascia?) to gain access to the attic. That’s husband’s department as I don’t do ladders. It’s been a contest of wills for years.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We had all manner of critters – woodchuck, raccoons, bunnies, deer – in the city, ironically enough, but the 7-foot fences kept most of them out of the vegetables. Except the mole – solved the mole problem by finding, online, instructions for a trap that involved a glass bottle and a piece of cooked bacon. This was not a “catch and release” situation, however.

    I am a combination for problem solving – some things get researched, but I will act impulsively at times before thinking things through. Will try and think of an example…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have kept a list of sightings here at the top of the raven in the middle of the bluffs here in the middle of Kato. I have listed 45 birds and 12 mammals including a lynx.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. One brief glimpse but we used to hear his call during the night less than 50 feet from us. Used to see one crossing road over by our last house. His call exactly matches what you can hear online. There appears to be a large cat, whatever you call it, roaming around a large territory including up on bluffs on N. Kato. I have not heard it or seen it. Sightings around Fairmont too. So may be a few or two. This town is built around ravines that run down from the bluffs to the river. They total a few hundred acres. Wonderful ground, like the one starting right by our patio. Many people call the city and demand they come remove raccoons and such. People wan to live on the bluffs but do not want nature to actually be there.

          Liked by 3 people

        2. We had a lightening strike that was 0.0 seconds between strike and thunder. Hit one of the tall trees right out there. Cannot see any damage today.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. People do really stupid stuff sometimes. They move to the countryside, and then complain about the smells from the nearby farms.

          I’m wondering if one of the mammals you’ve seen is a coyote? I can imagine that they would be there.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I love problem solving. I have three favorite methods. When appropriate, I research the problem on the internet. When appropriate, I think the problem through by seeking patterns. If neither of those techniques, I ask my daughter to fix the problem.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I used to be a very good problem solver, good a finding the lateral solution. Applied problem solving to divorcing myself from the standard textbook ways of teaching English. Now I am stymied or find the lateral solution after the fact. Right now have no solutions.
    We have three very large, sleek, fearless raccoons who grub in our yard around midnight 2-3 nights a week. Do no harm. Nothing out there to harm. Aerate the soil. Lately the raptors have been keeping our birds and squirrels in hiding, but they have to eat too.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I tend to ruminate on problems, analyze and think them through. Usually my job at work is pretty straightforward, simple and task-oriented. Yesterday, we had a difficult problem to solve with paperwork sent to financial fund company who said it wasn’t an original with a special stamp. That just doesn’t happen. I woke up in the night and thought through all the possible scenarios of how they (not likely us) could have screwed up and mis-routed the paperwork. We got it solved this morning, but I made sure to write out a complete memo to the person handling it, setting out all the scenarios and questions to ask to verify if they received originals.

    Yay, me. Now, I’m tired today. I want another raise. Feeling a little grumpy, glum and bit like chopped liver here. I applied for 4-5 different internal positions at my company that I’m qualified for in the past 2 months, have excellent reviews, a good resume, great skills, etc. Not a single interview or even a response from HR if I was even submitted or considered. Had a long talk with new HR gal to tell her this was unacceptable treatment for internal candidates. All positions were offered to external (younger) candidates. So yeah — feeling a bit like chopped liver here.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m actually thought a fair amount about this problem since I have been married twice to people who make decisions and solve problems completely opposite from the way I do. I’m a quick decision maker and Pproblem solver. Gather as many facts as I have at hand, as quickly as I can , think about it a bit, make the decision to whatever the problem is. Both my wasbands would continue to gather facts, then gather more facts and then ruminate on it for days / months / years and sometimes never even make a decision. Obviously I don’t have to deal with either of them anymore but I do have a boss who lives in that “gather more facts before making a decision” world. The main thing about making the decisions and solving the problems quickly like I do is it you have to be prepared for the fact that sometimes it might not have been the best solution to a problem but it was the one that was at hand.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Different problem solving styles can lead to conflict. My erstwife was a person who figured “good enough is good enough.” I evolved into someone who knew there was a right way to do most jobs, a right way and many wrong ways. I remember a difficult evening when the project was assembling a kitchen cabinet. I wanted to do it right. My wife wanted to whang it together quickly. We had a guest, a sweet Swiss woman, who became nervous about our disagreement. “Well, I can see how it would be good to get it right, but then I understand the notion that it doesn’t have to be perfect . . .” Ach, that’s the Swiss for you. Always the pickle in the middle.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. It’s always fun to recall the 2 times I encountered a skunk in my house. The first time, one had wandered up from the walkout basement (yes, I left the door open in the garage) and into the living room behind the couch. My Great Pyrenees, Hannibal, my foster retriever, Jo, and the tabby cat all hovered around the couch while I tried to figure out what they were interested in…I climbed onto the couch, caught the smell, hustled the dogs and cat out of the house onto the screen porch…continued to get ready for work. Closed all the extra doors, left the doors to the basement and garage open and left for work.

    I called met neighbor from work, he was kind enough to put a humane trap in my living room. When I called later in the afternoon, his wife said when he had checked, the trap was empty, the skunk was gone.

    The second time, my dog encountered the skunk in the kitchen. He got sprayed. (I can’t believe I left that basement door open again!) I called the DNR to ask for advice on getting rid of the smell. The ranger said “Time and Fresh Air” Yup.

    Other wildlife encounters included a porcupine in the garage, a coyote in the goat pasture, foxes and coyotes taking chickens….

    Liked by 3 people

  10. My problem today was how to cope with a painfully long, all day long, meeting with all the other State psychologists to discuss peer review, procedural issues in doing evals, and a workshop on court testimony. There are only about 20 of us. Tomorrow we spend 6 hours learning actuarial assessment of sex offender risk. Ishta feyda, as my Swedish friends say.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Last night I had a couple of possums on my porch. I thought if I walked out onto the porch they would skedaddle, but they didn’t seem alarmed and just moved away grudgingly.

    One of my neighbors had a visiting woodchuck that he wanted to get rid of, and tried to live trap it. Got a skunk in the trap instead. That’s sort of a hazard with those live traps. If you catch a skunk, what exactly can you do?

    Sometimes in the night I’ll wake up and see one or two of my cats staring intensely out the window. There will be an animal in my neighbor’s driveway, either a fox or coyote, it’s hard to tell from the second floor.

    I like the bunnies, and for some reason they never bother my tulips.


  12. OT – I have tickets for Friday night’s performance of This Bitter Earth at the Penumbra Theatre. Penumbra always sends out a “preview” of their performances to ticket holders to enable them to come to the performance knowing what to expect. I’m going with my friend Helen, so I forwarded the material to her along with the question: “Do you have any suggestions of where to go for dinner?” Well, I thought I had sent this message to Helen, but apparently I had not. Ten minutes later I got an email from Amy Thomas, Penumbra’s managing director saying: ‘I think you intended to send this to somebody else. Let me know if you need suggestions for where to go to dinner.” I love these people. I doubt that I would have received that kind of response from Guthrie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ask for her suggestion

      and tell her if you have a favorite ren suggest you dine together sometime
      i’ll betvyoudcenjou each other very much


  13. i was laughing the other day
    when i was a kid of 6 or so i used to be out in the great outdoors and when i needed to decide whet to do and where to go i spit in my hand and smack it like a hammer with the pointer finger on the other hand and it would fly in some direction
    that’s thecway id go

    i make decisions based on my best judgement at the moment. it’s not always the same conclusion. what i conclude ends up different on different days because the answer is not hard and fast it’s a required assessment of factors and a determination as to the correct evaluation.
    i make a decision and hope it’s right and prepare for the fallout if it’s not.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. possum is new critter in the garden here
    possums are here due to global warming over the last 40 years

    there were no possum here in 1973 when i started driving
    i would see them on roadsides in michigan and kansas but not here
    then one day a white faced rat/ groundhog showed up then another the next year now my dogs catch and they must chew on it only to have it go limp and when they set it down and walk away the possum walks the other way

    slugs in the garden too
    bit since the 70’s they’ve arrived.

    Liked by 1 person

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