Saturday, December 26, 2015

Holiday Guests Get a Royal Send Off

It's woodrat (also known as a packrat) season up at the cabin. It's a seasonal thing, but this year they've been quite prolific. I know when there's a woodrat hanging around because they chew up plants on my cabin deck, and they build nests in our storage shed on shore.


This time of year there aren't many plants on the deck, but the current batch of woodrats have taken a liking to the cedar tree I've been nurturing for five years. I've wrapped it in plastic mesh and topped it with bird netting, but they still get through to chew off branches. Here's what they do with the cuttings (and lots more from the nearby cliff).


I get frustrated. So far, this is woodrat number six in the last two weeks. How they all know about the cedar tree is a mystery.


But it's hard to get too mad at such cute little guys. They have rat in their name, but don't look like their city cousins.


Here's Wayne saying good-bye to our most recent holiday "guest" and preparing to take her (I've read woodrats have a matriarchal society) on a cruise to a new home on Goat Island.


Want to read a funny story about another experience I had with a woodrat? Try my post, "The Night of the Woodrat" about my first up close and personal experience with this seasonal "guest." -- Margy

33 comments:

  1. They are bloody cute but destructive. Maybe they can smell the cedar from land? Worth a swim for a tasty warm bit of cedar.

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    1. Speaking of swims, we hope they won't come all the way back from Goat Island. When we release them on our side of the lake we worry about them running home, even from a long ways away. - Margy

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  2. Hello, they are adorable critters. I've never seen one in person. It is sad they have to be so destructive. I hope he/she likes it's new home on the Goat Island. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

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    1. They don't mean to be destructive, it's their nature. It's frustrating for me when they chew up my plants. It must be frustrating for them when I tear apart their nest (midden). - Margy

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  3. they are so cute but man, what a pain!! i always thought a packrat was a term used to define a person who saves things, i never knew it was indeed an animal rat!!!

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    1. Packrats are great about hoarding bright objects and putting them in their nests. Guess that's where the term began to describe people. - Margy

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  4. Hope they like their new home and find lots of cedar there to keep them happy.

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    1. I read that some undisturbed have been in existence for 50,000 years and are a rich source of information about the development of our planet. Woodrats are an ancient rodent species from the Pleistocene era. - Margy

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  5. Replies
    1. One of the redeeming qualities. - Margy

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  6. Apart from unruly "guests", I hope you had a good Christmas.

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    1. We had a wonderful quiet Christmas with a friend. When family is scarce friends are really important. - Margy

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  7. Adorable, I'd love to see a pack rat. I might even leave something out for it.

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    1. No need, they will harvest anything and everything they want between half and hour after sunset to half an hour before sunrise. Night creepers, day sleepers. - Margy

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  8. It is hard to contend with a creature just doing what comes naturally - but you do want your little tree to survive too. Do they swim back over to visit you?

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    1. I just read a post by another woman who traps and relocated woodrats. She had to take them five miles away before they didn't make it back home. That would explain why they all know about the same cedar tree. It one woodrat caught six times. - Margy

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  9. All birds and animals are very clever at finding sources of food. So are humans I guess,otherwise none of us would have survived thus far.

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    1. Guess that's the way with all living things. - Margy

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  10. Hello, Margy. Over here we have problem with city rats and they are known to spread deadly disease or cause of death with their urine or droppings. Blessed Sunday!

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    1. Woodrats are from a different branch of the rodent family fortunately. I don't know of any diseases they spread, especially out here in the woods. I do hate cleaning up after them though. I wash very carefully after leaving the shed. - Margy

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  11. Very cute! We had one in our root cellar up north in Bella Coola. A nice, warmish home, when it was 20 below (Celsius) outside, and with plastic buckets of oatmeal and peanut butter, besides! It took us forever to get rid of the critter. My son offered to take a rifle inside and give him what for, but I stomped on that idea pretty quick!

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    1. The live trap with peanut butter is hard for them to pass up, as long as the mice don't get in and spring it first. - Margy

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  12. Oh my what a great story. I'm so glad it's taking a trip! Relocation seems like a great option! I can't imagine dealing with that.
    I saw a house one time that had been chewed up but didn't really know what they were or looked like!
    Thanks for coming over and visiting my post about my grandson and his horse. I live my life through them now adays. I miss having my own!
    I'm glad to meet you. I read and review too.
    I'll look for your follow button!
    Have a great week!

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  13. Oh my what a great story. I'm so glad it's taking a trip! Relocation seems like a great option! I can't imagine dealing with that.
    I saw a house one time that had been chewed up but didn't really know what they were or looked like!
    Thanks for coming over and visiting my post about my grandson and his horse. I live my life through them now adays. I miss having my own!
    I'm glad to meet you. I read and review too.
    I'll look for your follow button!
    Have a great week!

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  14. Awww such a cute little woodrat. I would not be able to stay mad at them either.

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  15. I'll let you have the Woodrats. Cute ears.
    We have cute tiny bunnies causing problems in the Spring when new plants are coming up.
    Take care
    MB

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    1. Probably the same kind of issue, too cute to hate, too pesky to love. - Margy

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  16. I've never seen a woodrat before. They sound like naughty rascals. We have little black squirrels that like to eat all out bird seed so I think I understand your frustration. ;)

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    1. There are black squirrels in Bellingham, they look so strange. - Margy

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  17. They are cute, in that they don't eat garbage like city rats!

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    1. This is one of their redeeming qualities, but they do raid my compost buckets if I don't carry them up the hill fast enough. - Margy

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  18. I think you could do fine without those house guests.
    Wish you a great New Year.

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