… other mammals are “in the rut” — which means it’s their mating season. Set off by the shorter days and an increase in testosterone, male deer can become aggressive and violent.
Keep a close eye on your pets, especially dogs. Cats are at risk for attack, but by nature they tend to avoid deer, whereas a dog is more apt to want to chase and play with a deer that may get in your yard.
To that end, never leave food in your yard. Make sure your fencing is secure, and always have your dog on a leash. Don’t leave your dog outside unsupervised.
The rutting season slows down in December.
There’s a skunk hole under one of my sheds, and I discovered a way to keep skunks from using that hole: I put my used coffee grounds in front of it! I started noticing no activity at the skunk hole.
My motion-sensing camera catches skunks wandering through my yard fairly often at night. I see them go near the skunk hole, sniff it and keep going.
– Linda C., Tri-Cities, Wash.
Growing succulents (cacti, et al.) can be challenging. Here are some hints:
• Set them in a south-facing window for best light.
• Don’t be afraid to water them. They get a good soaking during a desert deluge. Wait for the soil to dry completely before watering again.
• Succulents need a good-draining, sandy soil.
• Don’t crowd them together, despite what you may see online.
Pick an easy-to-grow succulent, like aloe, if you’re a newbie.
I save my dryer lint to use as a fire starter when we are camping. Lint burns quickly and easily without putting ash or debris into the air.
To store pieces of lint, I use an old toilet tissue or paper towel roll. You’d be surprised how much lint can fit in these tubes. Then the cardboard tube can be recycled.
– Jennifer S.,
Yorba Linda, Calif.
Low-fat sour cream, yogurt or cottage cheese mixes nicely with a packet of onion soup mix to make a delicious dip for veggies or pretzels.
– Ann H. in Texas