Best thing about animals is they don't talk much.
-- Thornton Wilder
Dear Gary: I thought you might enjoy this picture I took yesterday of a bobcat in our backyard.
He stayed around for quite a while, just resting in the shade.
Dear Mike: Five years ago this never would have happened. A bobcat in somebody's backyard? You've got to be kidding! Those big spotted cats are normally so shy you don't even see them in the wilds.
Now, things seem to have changed. I've had six or seven reports of bobcats in Bay Area backyards in just the last couple of months. They appear to be adapting to us humans and our suburban backyard environments. (I call our backyards "the urban wilderness" because more and more wild creatures are visiting them.)
Bobcats usually weigh between 15 and 30 pounds. This one in your picture looks to be in the 20-30-pound bracket.
That's a LOT of cat. They normally hunt rabbits, hares, rodents, snakes and birds ... but they will also occasionally prey on house cats.
You might keep that in mind if you have a cat or a small dog. You might also alert your neighbors.
Dear Gary: We have gophers and voles. They seem to be quite happy ruining my garden and the area around my deck in
The hose method doesn't work. Professional poison works but only temporarily. We went out and purchased one of those electronic gopher repelling devices, and lo and behold, it works! It took a few weeks and it didn't have the range stated on the box, but I am very happy.
We bought a few more and are getting great results, especially now during breeding season. I feel better about the environment and not being cruel to animals, too.
I say to anyone -- give them a try, what do you have to lose?
Dear Rhonna: You didn't mention the brand of electronic device you're using, so I contacted you and you said they're called Exhart Mole Movers. Some are solar powered and some are battery powered.
To learn more, go to www.google.com and search for "Exhart electronic gopher and mole mover." It's a tube that pushes into the ground and vibrates at a frequency that moles and gophers apparently dislike intensely.
If anyone tries them, please let me know how they work out for you.
Contact Gary Bogue at firstname.lastname@example.org; or write Gary, P.O. Box 8099, Walnut Creek, CA 94596.