... Four-legged, skittish and fluffy.
... Four-legged, lumbering and plump.
... Two-legged, quick and feathered.
Some are shy and secretive: Sneaking in the dead of night.
Some are bold and brash: Snatching in broad daylight.
Others prefer the never-never land of twilight when we can’t quite make out what’s moving outside the window.
What my husband, Kevin, and I do know is that whenever we’re not looking, juneberries and honeyberries disappear. Poof!
Squash plants and pole beans get nibbled. Munch!
Thai eggplant, lovingly nurtured since March 1 have been whittled to pathetic stems that I’m trying to convince myself can still recover.
The strawberries, heavily sprayed with smelly deterrents, have escaped relatively unscathed, with most of this year’s damage coming from molds and slugs and snails. But, even still, a half-eaten red seeded carcass greeted us one morning on the sidewalk near the back door.
I’m ever so grateful when I hear other gardeners’ horror stories about deer that our property is so near downtown that these voracious eaters don’t bother us. As yet, rabbits haven’t been a problem, either.
But squirrels and birds and woodchucks do enough damage. Our resident groundhog has grown so brazen, he stands for long minutes on his hind legs near the side door, surveying where he should take his next meal.
Kevin keeps trying to steal around the back of the house and bop him in the noggin with a rock, but that little bandit moves fast when necessary. (I’m not exactly sure what we’d do if the rock ever connected, but it’s fun to see Kevin’s Bugs Bunny impression.)
In the meantime, I’m just glad the roughage rustler keeps to the backyard and hasn’t ventured near the lettuce or bush beans.
To forestall him when he does, I’ve drizzled noxious spray on everything I fear he or the squirrels may enjoy: Squash, beans, soybeans, corn, berries, eggplant stalks. (For our own enjoyment, I’ve left the lettuce alone.)
We also scurried to cover the laden sour cherry tree with a net after I spied fluttering wings deep within its branches. Having lost last year’s crop to a late frost, we’re not taking chances.
Next, we have to do the same for the peach trees and remaining berries.
Then it’s time to set up a neighborhood watch.