About a week ago, I discovered shreds of burlap in a drawer where my tools were stored and acorns that I had not put there. Something had come to make a home for the winter in the potting shed. Last year we had bought a humane trap for attic squirrels. I baited it with peanut butter. Nothing the first night. He took it all the second night, without springing the door. But the third time did not charm for him. I discovered him around noon. He was a very large rat, with a red nose where he had bumped it on the wire cage.
Not needing to kill him, we took him for a ride in the back of the pickup. On the way to the lighthouse, we stopped on a dirt road and opened the cage.
He sprang forth, higher than I thought he could, and was gone: a nice meal for an owl.
Our neighborhood is full of cats. There are dogs on the other side of the fence where he was caught. And we hear barred owls all the time! I guess he lived a charmed life ---until now. And despite the title of this entry, he was clean!