Building A Habitat For Scorpions And Trying To Keep Them

I thought I would try to turn a negative into a positive with my scorpions situation by capturing them and keeping in them in a glassed habitat in the house. Perhaps there’s money to be made selling scorpions.

The first thing I did was to clean out a 10 gallon aquarium that was being unused.

Scorpion habitat from a 10 gallon aquarium

I then added cactus from the back yard.

Adding cactus to a scorpion habitat

I then added some sandy soil (commonly referred to as dirt), also from the back yard.

Adding sandy soil to the scorpion habitat

I then added a pile of rocks, from the front yard this time.

Adding a pile of rocks to the scorpion habitat

I then added the scorpion (Vaejovis flavus). This one came from inside the house.

Possible Vaejovis flavus species of scorpion?

The first scorpion died after keeping it in the tank for about a month. This was despite providing it several crickets that it quickly ate.

Since Saturn the cat came along, I rarely get a scorpion before she kills them. Plus she is has eliminated the scorpion food supply in the house so I don’t know that I will get much more of them. The tank currently sits empty.

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Preparing For Winter By Cutting Up Trees

I have been threatening to trim back and cut down the trees in my yard (mostly cut down) for several years. It’s already starting to cool down and I decided to get on it before it’s too late. It’s only been a threat because I wanted to rent a chipper but chippers are expensive and I finally gave up on that idea and started cutting things down and putting the waste in the back part of my lot. Out of sight and out of mind.

Pile of cut up trees

The big project was cutting down a large branch on what I think is a Elm tree. This kind of tree can be seen throughout older neighborhoods of Rio Rancho and Albuquerque and they all seem to have the same problem, whole limbs off the main truck just die off.

On my tree, the main limb that hangs over the patio died off. The dead limb with all its sub branches make for great bird perches in which the birds then crap all over my patio. It also makes a mess with twigs all over the place as the whole thing slowly breaks up.

View of the dead limb off a elm tree

The plan was to cut off the main branch without it falling onto the house. I did the cutting with a reciprocating saw and a 9″ pruning blade and a friend pulled on the branch with a rope so it would fall away from the house.

It didn’t quite go as planned (and I should have had video). I wasn’t able to tie the limb high enough and pulling it with the rope wasn’t effective at moving it away from the house fast enough. The top of the limb partially hit the roof and the glass table. Luckily the limb and branches were dead and dried up and they broke apart when they hit the roof and patio furniture.

Dead elm tree limb that was cut down

I cut up the Elm branch into small pieces and they will be used as firewood this winter. The rest of the trees that I cut down will sit in the backyard and allowed to dry out. Most of it is from pine based trees, so they are not suitable for burning inside but may see use in the outdoor fire pit.

Pile of logs cut from the elm tree limb

Several years ago there was a huge fire in the bosque near the Rio Grande in Albuquerque. After the fire they cleared the trees and I have some of the wood from project. The wood was far away from the house, too much of a pain to access during the winter. I moved all of that wood near the house and cut up the larger pieces with the reciprocating saw, some if still needs splitting but it should be plenty for this winter.

Wood pile brought closer to the house

I exclusively used my Dewalt reciprocating saw
for all this cutting and it amazes me how well a refurbished tool that I bought over 12 years ago works like it’s brand new. I was able to fully test out the Dewalt DC9180 18 Volt Nano Tech lithium ion battery pack and it performed exactly as advertised. It provided full power thought multiple cuts until it just stopped. It wasn’t as fast as a chain saw would have been but it did cut through everything I asked with constant power including a few logs larger than the 9 inch blade. I would guess I could get about 6 to 8 cuts between charges and it would charge in about 30 minutes, which provided breaks for me.

There are still some larger logs that I may try to cut with a small chainsaw if I can find one to borrow.

Large logs that may require a chain saw to cut

Of course my cat Saturn was happy to supervise the project from the bedroom window making occasional recommendations.

Saturn supervising the tree trimming from the window.

Another Scoprion And Where The Hell Are They Coming From?

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In early May I spotted the first scorpion of the year in the house. In the last few years I have been living here, this is the earliest I have seen on in the house. In previous years I didn’t start to see them until July.

I was sure they were coming in from the garage so I put diatomaceous earth throughout the garage and around the entrances to the house. Diatomaceous earth works good on insects because it’s very itchy to insects and it will suck the moisture out of their bodies. In the case of scorpions I’ve read that they will just avoid it.

Tonight I came home and found Saturn playing with something. The good news is Saturn found a scorpion the bad news is the scorpion made it past my defenses. That means that it either went around the diatomaceous earth or it came in another way.

I will start going around the perimeter of the house sealing up cracks. I’m not sure what else to do.

Say Hello To Saturn (The Cat)

A 5 month old kitten adopted a coworker of mine. She showed up on his door step one day and made her self at home. He tried to keep her for about a week, he even took her to the vet and had her checked out, but for various reasons couldn’t and his next option was to send her to the pound.

Now the kitten, which I have named Saturn, lives with me. She has a grey and black tabby coat. She is a polydactyl cat with 6 toes on both of her front feet. She looks like she is walking around on baseball mits. She still needs shots, spayed and to be declawed.

OK I admit it: she’s adorable and I never imaged I would own a cat or even a kitten for that matter. It’s been a little over a week since she first came into my house and it’s been an interesting experience. I’m happy to report that she hasn’t caused any trouble with urinating on anything and has used the litter box for all her waste needs.

She seems to have four modes. Spaz mode is one of the most common. Yesterday she was in super spaz mode where she went nuts nocking everything off the coffee table, jumping on and chewing on things. That ended when she jumped off the couch, slid onto the coffee table and into a box. Both her and the box crashed into the TV. She then ran into the bedroom for about 20 minutes. When she came out she was much calmer.

Her other modes include patrol mode, where she walk around the perimeter of the house. Love me mode is where she wants to sit in my lap no matter where I am or what I’m doing. Keep your distance mode is where she wants to keep me in site and observe but not come near me.

Due to the coyotes that live near in the area, Saturn will be an indoor cat. I posted a HD video of Saturn’s first look at the aquarium on YouTube.

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/eX9hoLJmbK0&hl=en&fs=1&hd=1&border=1