Of Mice and Menace

by | Sep 10, 2003 | Archives

Mercury will be going into retrograde September 28 and it has long been held by western astrology that a retrograde Mercury causes mischief with equipment and thatno important contracts should be signed during that period.But we've just come through the red planet of Mars on its closet to earth orbit in 60,000 or so years. Mars governs the element of fire so it should come as no surprise that our tea maker, our oven and our clothes dryer all went on the blink along with it appears parts of our electrical system in our guest barn.

Blame it on Mars. Right?

Wrong. I blame it on mice. One joy of living in an isolated farm is that we are surrounded by life, wild turkey are especially obvious right now. They always show up the blackberries are ripe. Shortly more whitetail deer will appear as the apples fall. In spring the black bears come down and graze in the meadows.

Yet all the time there are mice! I first met the mice when I parked my little Miata sports car in the garage. This was mice heaven I guess as they moved right in. The smell and bits of mouse nest that flew out of the air vents was bad enough, but when they ate the wires that ran to my gas tank ($800 repair) enough was enough. I loaded the Miata with moth balls. Someone told me mice did not like the smell. I never found out as I overdid and then I did not like the smell. I surrendered (a wise man knows when to quit) and shipped the car back to Florida for sale. A friend stored it in his garage and said the car just sat there “killing moths”. It took some time to sell. I suspect the delay was directly related to moth ball decay.

Mars was supposed to create havoc with our fire machines but I was not surprised when upon taking the clothes dryer apart I found a mice nest and stash of black walnuts in the dryer vent. I don't want to discount the stars, but a build up of heat caused by this mouse built obstruction sounds like a good explanation to me.

Our electrical shortage is even weirder. Something is really crossed up. When you flipped on a light switch the hot water heater goes off. Another circuit breaker for a light bulb caused the dryer to stop. There does not seem to be any connections. Why did this suddenly happen? Mars? In the circuit breaker box I found guess what? A mouse nest made of insulation.

Now I cannot prove that mice are at fault for these electrical difficulties, but I have set traps any way. Now the mice even get me there. They really are darn cute and as mad as I get at the damage they cause, I still feel bad when I see them in the traps.

On the subject of traps, this presents one more problem. Something has been getting in a killing our chickens. Ate seven of them. I have moved the remaining three to secure grounds, but I want this murderer. This may be a big creature though as we set a pretty big “Have a Heart” non-lethal trap with tuna fish and it was totally flipped over like something bigger than a raccoon, weasel, opossum (the usual villains). I tried it again and caught one of the wild cats we encourage and feed at the barn. So I am stuck. I can't set a real trap to catch the chicken murderer. I might catch the cats I want living there. Why do I want cats? To keep the mice in check of course.

Yet we learned in yesterday's message from ex pilot Stephen Rassmussen to turn our handicaps into strengths.

One reason the mice like it up here is that Merrily Farms lays in one of the darkest parts of the U.S. The mice love the dark. This lack of lack pollution brings us those starry starry nights.

So instead I'll focus on how life thrives here and on clear nights enjoy the Milky Way and the fainter stars, that glow bright here. I'll get lost in this magnificence and wonder at how ancient this light is that strikes my eyes. Some of what I am seeing took place millions of years ago.

This nearly staggers my imagination and we'll see why in tomorrow's message. For now, I'm headed into town to buy supplies. You can be sure that extra mouse traps will be included. I've decided that mice are not that cute.

Until next message may your worries be as little as mice.