Mothballs don’t work as mole deterrents

Published 10:51 am Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club meeting

“I always thought that the older I’d get, the wiser I would become.”

“It’s not working that way?”

Email newsletter signup

“No, the older I get, the more tired I become. Tired must be the new wisdom.

Driving the Bruces

I have two wonderful neighbors – both named Bruce – who live across the road from each other. Whenever I pass their driveways, thoughts occur to me, such as: Never depend upon the weather.

Things I’ve learned

1. It is difficult to finish a job that was never started.

2. Whatever doesn’t kill me only makes me stranger.

3. Junk is something you’ve kept for years and throw away three weeks before you need it.

Cafe chronicles

“It’s a nice morning for the break of day,” I greeted the friendly philosophers.

“That’s easy for you to say. My windshield wipers are so worn that I look at the world through a smear. I think my problems all started in junior high shop class.”

“Woodworking,” I recalled.

“I tried to build a coffee table. I couldn’t get the legs even. I kept cutting them until I realized that I wasn’t making a coffee table, I was building a serving tray. I haven’t known what I’ve been doing since.”

He was ticketed for attempted speeding

It seems as though everyone is driving too fast. That’s not true. Keith Batt of Bellingham, Wash., told me that he pokes along at such a slow speed that a meter maid passed him in her little cart. Keith was driving at the speed of a glacier.


One day, I’m mumbling to myself, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Do you think the snow will melt by fall?” The next day, I had to hurry to shovel the snow before it melted.

When the sap circulates, the tree leaves, and it’s time to squeeze the maple trees. Spring gives the birds something to sing about and causes a plague of potholes and lawn ornaments to descend upon the land. I emerged from my winter coat like a butterfly from its chrysalis to weather filled with promise. Was I suffering from frostbite or a heat rash? Mark Twain wrote, “In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.”

Lightning knocked the horns off a great horned owl who didn’t give a hoot. Rain means that the grass will soon grow so tall that a cow, a dog, and two of the neighbor’s cousins visiting from Illinois will become lost in it. Almost normal people begin decapitating dandelions. They push yellow mowers through the green grass as they cuss a blue streak. We’ll soon be into the mosquitofighting season. It’s similar to bullfighting only with more bloodshed. Stop and smell the skunk. It’s spring’s aromatherapy.

Nature notes

“Does putting Juicy Fruit gum into their tunnels eliminate moles?” This has proven ineffective in scientific tests. Moles are insectivores but apparently not gum-chewers. The use of vibrating devices to discourage moles hasn’t proven effective in scientific trials either. The presence of mole tunnels next to highways would be evidence against the effectiveness of vibrations as a deterrent. The use of mothballs to repel moles is futile.

Talking to the Holstein

I was talking to the Holstein the other day. The Holstein is a retired milk cow, so she has time to talk. I mentioned that the 2011 Annual Bluebird Expo would be on Saturday, April 16 at Cambridge High School. At the place to learn how to attract bluebirds, there will be exhibits, sales, speakers, and live birds from the Raptor Center. Speakers include Keith Radel, Jim Gilbert, and me. For more information, call 507-332-7003 or 507-210-0961.

The Holstein chewed her cud thoughtfully and said, “Dial for me. I have hooves.”

Picking rocks

We picked rocks on the farm. We picked more rocks than flowers. The glacier brought rocks to our farm and relied on us to move them to piles in more appropriate places than in a cornfield. I was talking about this annual task with a couple of other old farm boys. The discussion moved to the difference between a rock and a stone. One said that a rock was large and a stone small. Another said that a rock had sharp, jagged edges and stones were smooth and rounded. I put beautiful ones (rocks and stones) into my pockets for both good luck and to keep from being blown away by the wind. The glacier has gone to get more rocks.

Meeting adjourned

The best way to judge another is not by what others say about that person but by what that person says about others.