bigger pond

Archive for July, 2007

Groundhog Day, Part III: In Which Jonas Succumbs to the Succulence of Honeydew Melon

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Yesterday we were met with an unpleasant surprise: The Hole had reappeared. Jonas had not, as previously hoped, taken the hint and left. No, instead, there he was, scuttling beneath the neighbor’s hedge. Aggravated, we tossed a few chunks of honeydew melon into the cage before heading out to see some friends.

When we returned home, our hopes temporarily soared — the trap had been sprung!

But it was not Jonas. It was Boris.

Boris looked a lot like Maud, only bigger, smellier, and possibly meaner. Boris was loathe to leave the trap but, after some firm encouragement, he tumbled out and scuttled down Jonas’ hole. “Are they in cahoots?” I wondered bitterly. We reset the trap with more honeydew and went to bed.

This morning, the trap sat empty as did, unfortunately, my flower pot; Jonas had removed the last leaves from the plant I had struggled to keep alive during his tenure below our porch. Discouraged, I left for my German class, sure that Jonas was destined to live as our perpetual nemesis.

And then:

His Name is Jonas

At 1:41 pm, July 19, 2007, four squirrels and two possums later, Jonas plopped himself down into the trap and…pow. Now we just need to figure out what to do with him. Suggestions?

Bye, Jonas. Hello, Maud.

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

There is a new wrinkle in our groundhog saga.

Four squirrels and no groundhogs later, we have decided that Jonas saw the writing on the wall and bailed. We have not caught glimpses of him scuttling beneath the porch when we check the mail. He has ignored the veritable buffet of fruits that we have placed outside the hole and inside the trap. Most tellingly, he has not re-excavated the holes we have spitefully, partially filled. Yes, it seems that Jonas has departed.

This does not, however, mean that we are wildlife free.

When I went out to check the trap this morning, I was greeted by a creature even more despicable than a twenty pound groundhog:

Not a Groundhog

This is not Jonas. This is Maud, a possum. This is uncomfortable for all involved.

It’s uncomfortable for Noel because he has a long, troubled history of vehemently loathing possums. While you may dislike possums, Noel hates possums with a kind of murderous passion. Really. It’s uncomfortable for me because I have a weird, conflicted attitude towards possums. For the first twenty years of my life, I thought opossums were cute, quirky little things that hung upside down and had cool tails. I blame this grossly erroneous conception on Bambi. After finally seeing a ‘real’ possum during my junior year at Covenant, this lovely childhood delusion crashed and burned. They’re gross. They’re really, really gross. And, of course, this is uncomfortable for Maud because, well:

Boris Is Displeased

Farewell, overgrown rodents. You need not return. Thanks.

His Name Was Jonas

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

As you may recall, we have a groundhog beneath our feet.

Jonas in Action
But now, oh Jonas, we’re pulling out the big guns. We brought in the Cassel-hunter and we’re blogging all the fun to be had here.

Lovely Face

Tired Quads: A Dream Come True

Thursday, July 5th, 2007

During an early childhood trip to Virginia, I saw what seemed — to me — to be the most amazing, magical vehicles. Strange contraptions of pastel plastic, the vessels glided across the calm lake, among the waterlilies and ducks, passengers pedaling leisurely. A paddleboat. What a fabulous idea. And thus began a lifelong dream of, someday, propelling one of these fantastic crafts myself.


Basically, I’m saying that I was dreaming about paddleboating for a good five years longer than I dreamed of getting married.


Noel made fun of this fascination rather mercilessly. “They’re silly,” he told me, “you can’t really steer them, it takes more energy than it’s worth, and they’re silly.” And while I silenced my praise and pleading for a while, I was hardly dissuaded.

And then, yesterday, it happened. As a (half) birthday gift, Noel took me to Forest Park and we, indeed, went paddleboating. And I had a blast. We pedaled and paddled through the Post-Dispatch Lake, under bridges, and around the fountains in the Grand Basin at the foot of Art Hill.


Noel, was, of course, correct about the unfortunate physics of paddleboating. It’s certainly not efficient and I was surprised at how quickly my legs started to feel the burn. At first I was startled. Was I so out of shape? How were these retirees across the lake doing this? Then, I realized: being married to a quick-walking, strong-thighed husband does set the bar rather high in terms of velocity. While other couples pushed their legs in languorous, smooth strokes, the Weichbrodts pedaled vigorously, finding the vessel’s peak speed and then metronomically maintaining the pace. Romantic and aerobic. We’re cool like that.