July 22, 2007

Gratuitous Domestic Posting (TM) - Outdoor Division

Poking about in the garden yesterday, I noticed a curious lack of leaves on some of the hydrangia hedge behind it. Walking around behind the fence, I saw that the deer had not just poked a hole in the nylon netting that protects the hedge as they sometimes do, but in fact had ripped a whole section of it back, giving themselves an entre to about half of the plants there.

God rot their flea-bitten souls.

I've been engaged in a desultory dual of mines and countermines with a pair of rabbits over the past couple weeks who have been playing havoc with my coneflowers and have reduced a quartet of new hollyhocks to one lowly leaf apiece. I thought I was gaining the upper hand, but last evening observed one of the rabbits go right through the fence, apparently by means of osmosis, at a spot I had heretofor thought quite secure.

Damn and blast their furry little hides.

This morning, after seeing the Missus and the Llama-ettes off to Connecticut literally at the crack of dawn, I was planting a couple new blueberry bushes when I heard an almighty crack! coming from the patio. The squirrels had managed to jimmy my Yankee Flipper (R) feeder off its pole again. This time, the thing came down on one of the patio flags and seems to have cracked its battery case open, as there was an evil smell and the motorized spinner doesn't work any more.

Hell and death take these bushy-tailed tree-rats!

So why do I even bother?

Take up the Green Thumb's burden--
Send forth the best ye breed--
Go, bind your seedlings to exile
To serve your garden pests' need;
To wait, in heavy harness,
On furry folk and wild--
Your constant greedy varmints,
Half hoover and all guile.

Take up the Green Thumb's burden--
In patience net astride,
To check the threat of grazing
And stop the rodents' tide;
By open fence and simple,
An hundred times made plain,
To seek a few nice flowers
And work for some small gain.

Take up the Green Thumb's burden--
The perennials grant some peace--
Stop tight the mouth of Bambi,
And bid ol' Thumper cease;
And when your bloom is nearest
(The end for which you sought)
Watch all those goddam varmints
Bring all your hope to nought.

Take up the Green Thumb's burden--
No carefree Flora liege'd,
But toil of gates and wire--
The tale of endless siege.
The deer they shall still enter,
The rabbits shall still tread,
Go, fight them with your living -
They'll make you wish you're dead.

Take up the Green Thumb's burden,
And reap his old reward--
The blame of roses ye better
The hate of hydrangia ye guard--
The cry of hollyhocks ye nurtured
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:--
"Why brought ye us from seed trays,
Our loved basement, right?"

Take up the Green Thumb's burden--
Ye dare not stoop to less--
Nor call too loud on Nature
To cloak your weariness.
By all ye will or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent greedy varmints
Shall weigh your God and you.

Take up the Green Thumb's burden!
Have done with childish cheer--
The ever-hungry rabbit,
The often razing deer:
Comes now, to search your fencing
Through all the thankless years,
Cold, edged with gluttonous wisdom,
It burrows, holes and tears.


Posted by Robert at July 22, 2007 01:37 PM | TrackBack

"... and have reduced a quartet of new hollyhocks to one lowly leaf apiece."

C'mon. It's not like you were gonna eat them.

Posted by: tee bee at July 22, 2007 04:17 PM

Find a good recipe for rabbit stew, and buy a decent pellet gun (not some cheap toy). Beeman .22 caliber pellet gun (not the standard .177 pellets) are expensive, but good for this kind of silent hunting.

Good squirrel recipes are harder to find.

Posted by: Zendo Deb at July 22, 2007 09:16 PM

And people say there is no reason an average citizen should own a belt fed machine gun?

Gardeners should have a built in exemption from Class 3 firearm laws.

If you do go with a full auto, go with the 30 cal and remove the tracer rounds, unless you need more phosphorus in your soil.

Posted by: Yolo Cowboy at July 22, 2007 11:26 PM

My wife is currently engaged in a battle of wits with a squirrel who is so reckless he only has 1/3 of his tail left.

What seems to be working is to buy a garden variety plastic feed form Wal-Mart for about 5 bucks, and hang it on a long string from a tree branch. Punch a hole in a disposable aluminum turkey pan and run it through the string , knotting the string about 8 inches from the feeder so that the pan sits there like a very ugly hat. Suspend another turkey pan from the bottom. the breeze will make those things float around like Muhhamad Ali. As long as the feeder isn't close enough to another branch for them to jump at directly (aiming between the pans - they did this to us once) - the squirrels will sit there for hours trying to figure out how to make their approach, then give up in disgust as the pans sway this way and that.

Our squirrels are reduced to picking up the leavings that the birds drop on the ground. You can also tell when a bird is on the feeder becuase of the "plink plink" of the seeds they spill.

Posted by: John at July 23, 2007 07:09 AM

Speaking of battling squirrels - Beau has rigged up a bird feeder baffle using one of those flexible cutting sheets from our kitchen. He poked a hole in the center of it and attached it to the top of the bird feeder. It sort of drapes over the feeder. It's ugly but it is keeping the squirrels out of the bird seed.

Posted by: jen at July 23, 2007 08:54 AM



Posted by: Kathy at July 23, 2007 09:25 AM

Taste like chicken, rabbits & squirrels both. Happy hunting! I look on the urban deer & all that have been the landscape architects of my place as future protein supply when I run out. I do want them well fed when harvested.

Posted by: twolaneflash at July 23, 2007 12:59 PM

My dog did take care of a mole yesterday -- only bad part is that we were at the park at the time and not at home where a family of moles has decided to nest.

Posted by: rbj at July 23, 2007 01:06 PM

Via Hyscience, Iran has been having squirrel trouble, too.

Posted by: Ed Flinn at July 23, 2007 01:30 PM

I'm of two minds here. One is to feel bad for your gardening ambitions. The other is to say, if these are your worse troubles, then hells bells count yourself lucky.

It's not as if you've got Nazis parachuting into your hydrangeas...

Posted by: Mrs. Peperium at July 23, 2007 01:35 PM

All things dull and ugly,
All creatures short and squat,
All things rude and nasty,
The Lord God made the lot.
Each little snake that poisons,
Each little wasp that stings,
He made their brutish venom.
He made their horrid wings.

All things sick and cancerous,
All evil great and small,
All things foul and dangerous,
The Lord God made them all.

Each nasty little hornet,
Each beastly little squid--
Who made the spikey urchin?
Who made the sharks? He did!

All things scabbed and ulcerous,
All pox both great and small,
Putrid, foul and gangrenous,
The Lord God made them all.


Posted by: mojo at July 24, 2007 01:50 PM