The most famous gopher hunter of all time:
That's not exactly the approach I took on Saturday, but it's close. We arrived at Chaine d'Or about 9AM. Kathy, Millie and Amber were there to help Stefania with thinning of the Chardonnay vines. My task for the morning was to 'hunt' gophers. Chaine d'Or is the only vineyard we have not had owls move in to so I still have to kill the little critters myself.
I've got nothing against the little guys personally. It's what they do to a vine that sucks. The picture below is a mature Cabernet Sauvignon vine. This vine had its roots deep enough that it survived the gopher attack. A younger vine would have died.
This is what I'm looking for. This is a fresh dig. That means the little devil is active right in this area. The main tunnel will actually be right between the two fresh piles of dirt. I use a long pole to poke through and fine the tunnel.
The activity was down a lot from two weeks ago. I almost have them out of the vineyard for now. One more run through in another two weeks should do it.
I finished up about 11:30 and spent the next 90 minutes topping the remaining 2008's and all the 2009's in the winery. Stefania and crew finished up about 12:30 for the day. Temps were going to get into the high 80's by 2 PM so we didn't want to work much past 1 PM.
The vineyard looked very good, and the 2009's are coming along well.