Time to Redefine our Lives in Oregon

Posts tagged ‘Foxtails’

An Enemy Among Us

There are times when I am hiking through the forest, and the presence of impending doom lurks over the delight of the hike. I don’t like those moments, as I know there is an enemy lurking, in fact, its tendency is to be very bold. I call to my trekking companions hoping to pull them close, out of the danger area. Caution will need to be utilized the remainder of these next summer months, as this prolific enemy will be lurking in many different areas. They are not shy, yet they are silent. Part of the danger lies with the fact that it prefers to hunt its prey in groups.

My knees shake whenever encountered. I have trouble looking at them straight on, rather I view them with a sideways glance hoping they won’t see me, or rather my companions. These feet…

Tucker's furry feet!!

Tucker’s furry feet!!

and these ears….

Tucker's fuzzy face and ears.

Tucker’s fuzzy face and ears.

….attract this enemy with a passion. Have you guessed the name of these dastardly, defiant, dang-there-they-are predators yet?? Maybe this will help…

Brilliantly skilled, opportunistic hunters.

Brilliantly skilled, opportunistic hunters.

….FOXTAILS!!!!

I absolutely hate them….hate them!! They work their way into ears, inadvertently get sniffed up into the nose, wedge themselves between toes, burrowing into the skin, working their way within the tissues causing pain, redness, and infection.

I decided to try to rid the mound area in front of the house (totally wild, weedy area right now) of these spiky fiends. In my brilliance, I thought, “Hey, why not take the Shop Vac and just vacuum them up” (I had previously weed-wacked the area so they were laying loose on the ground.) Actually, it was a great idea….in the beginning.

The machine.....

The machine…..

The hill (mound) I have to conquer.

The hill (mound) I have to conquer.


June 2014
I hate these things!!!

I hate these things!!!

As I went, it was harder and harder to suck up the foxtails. I would shake the hose once in awhile, and it seemed to help…so I kept going. It started to become apparent that I probably had made a mistake….

Uh - Oh...that doesn't look good!

Uh – Oh…that doesn’t look good!

….so I took off the top of the vacuum to see if anything was going into the container…..

Not near enough debris in there.

Not near enough debris in there.

….okay, now I know I have a problem. I took the Shop Vac back into the shop to try and fix this…situation. My first thought, use the air compressor….

Hoping this works!!

Hoping this works!!

….maybe high pressured air, in combination with the vacuuming power will move the debris clog through the hose. Well that didn’t work. So I got a long pvc pipe, turned on the vacuum and proceeded to shove the pipe into the hose. It seemed to work to one point…then the wall hit. I think what I accomplished was to make one huge, compacted foxtail brick that was totally stuck within the hose. I mean at that point in the hose, it is totally solid…I mean solid!! Whoops!!! Maybe water will work, since it is a Shop Vac water is completely safe…I guess I’ll try that next.

As I left the shop, totally defeated…I saw the other Shop Vac hoses on the wall…there was a short, wide hose that would have been perfect…well at least I can finish vacuuming the mound. Wish me luck!!

At least the area that I was able to vac…the area that is now clogging the hose….is clear of those seasonal enemies.

Can you find a foxtail..I hope not!

Can you find a foxtail..I hope not!

Hoping your summer is starting out wonderfully!!
Tami

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