Those darn "yellow-bellied" marmots. Yes, my wife and I did talk with the Minister of the Blog-O-Sphere last Saturday at the Shabby sale. I was telling him, while my wife laughed WITH me, not AT me the infamous tales of the marmot wars going on at our home.
We live up on a hill. It has always been peaceful. Then one day, while playing my guitar sitting on the deck…I see what?? This big flowered plant in my wife’s garden area is shaking back and forth. What?? Did my eyes deceive me?? Looking around the lawn and into the aspen trees, no wind was noted. Then suddenly, like someone had yelled, “TIMBER” in my ears, the plant fell over..crashing into the lawn. Now one might think I was crazy. But, I carefully placed my guitar on the stool…walked over to the now fallen beautiful comrade. Yup…eaten flat across…sharp dissection as with a scalpel blade…less bloody in vision, but more bloody in revengeful feelings. Let the war begin!
We had been having trouble with some of our plants and flowers. It continued randomly until more lakeside building below us happened. These marmots, cute, furry, and cuddly, are quite the resistant critter. What to do. One of the local varmint guys said, “All’s you can do is shoot ‘em.” In the neighborhood I thought? Hardly. Plus, they’re stealthy and quick. They watch for you. A squeak from a door alone will alarm their defensive dive into the ground.
We saw an ad or product about keeping the varmints away. They were these submarine-torpedo looking aluminum rods. Standing about 20 inches tall and 2 inches in diameter, with batteries loaded, you push them into the ground. At random times, a signal is sent shaking the earth…maybe similar to the new movie, Ocean’s 13. Well, anyway, we had these avenger rods throughout our garden and greenery. Day after day…the plants were felled like a clear-cut in the woods. What were we to do…?
We thought there was a rather large family reunion of these varmints, marmots now called of the squirrel family…near one of our home-grown rock planters. I paid my son and his buddies years ago, a dime for every rock bigger than their hands, to build these planters. This area became ground zero. So, the water hose it was, "water boarding," I thought. We waited and stalked the critters. Flushed for hours, trying to make their life miserable. What did I see? I swear to the Almighty, one of them sliding down the hillside, like kids on a Slip n’ Slide®!
Now knowing that my enemy was strong and well fortressed, it was time to talk with more professionals. Well, my attention was directed to the smoke bombs. These things are more powerful than Superman, more web entangling than Spiderman, and more dangerous than CatWoman. So I purchased a sleeve of these poisonous smoke producing rods. Well, off to the planning stage again, securing a savagely strategic plot against those critters. No more buying flowers and plants redundantly. Think of the money to be saved. Early retirement I thought.
So, I carefully inspected the hillside. Monitoring each and every move by these unwelcome visitors, THIS plan would become the "Mission Accomplished.”
While holding my breath literally, I lit one of these smoke bombs and slid it into the hole. Then number two into another, then number three, and lastly number four…like torpedoes being called from the master.
I thought this will be it. Victory so close to grasp.
After about three to four minutes, happily watching from my perched binocular position, an amazing universal, near existential experience was witnessed. My whole hillside now smoked, not the four holes…but hundreds. Like the exhausting sulfur gas fields of Yellowstone and Glacier, the property was steaming with this poisonous smoke.
Within a few minutes, I thought, someone is going to call the Fire Department due to all the smoke. Outlet after outlet, the rising smoke then diminished. It was over. The offensive was over. My observation keen. Success.
Call me crazy, but thinking back, I swear the smell of cigar smoke was amongst the gas-smoke smell. Could those little furry varmints have been sittin’ back with a cold one, smokin’ a cigar in their cozy dens, watching the doctor’s next strategic play?
The next morning, about three more plants had been felled…But soon, new construction left huge rocks and boulders about a block away.
It seemed they found a new territory.