Critters of all shapes and sizes are after our bounty.
A week ago, before we tossed the netting over the blueberry bushes, my husband, Kevin, watched out the kitchen window as a robin landed on a nearby fence, assessed the ripening fruit and then swooped through the air and snatched a blue beauty mid-flight before landing in the neighbor’s yard to savor the spoils.
A few days after that, Kevin called my attention to a squirrel rattling around among the leaves before leaping to the ground and scampering next door with an unripened peach clutched in his jaws. Then we witnessed him fight over the plunder with a bushy tailed competitor.
I couldn’t tell you which one finally made off with the loot — but I know it wasn’t either of us!
And for days now, we’ve been on constant Japanese beetle patrol.
The shiny metallic pests have been so thick on the grape leaves that we gave up crushing them and have started plunging them into soapy water baths. One bucket the other day had so many carcasses floating in it, I felt as if we were working on a recipe for beetle soup.
... And now ... we have our very own woodchuck.
We’re not sure where it lives. But we do know what it eats.
Kevin first spied it ambling along the pathway between the raised beds, as cool as a cucumber.
We convinced ourselves, in that annoyingly, irrepressibly naive way we have, that maybe he was just passing through.
Nope. Not a chance.
Because just a few mornings later, while I was watering, I noticed some of the buttercrunch lettuce had been munched — on both sides of the mesclun that has bolted. And in the next bed, some of the broccoli on its way to providing a second crop of sideshoots had been shorn of its leaves.
Trouble is, I’d used up the squirrel deterrent on the strawberries and blueberries last month, so I hurried to the computer for a fresh batch. A little research led me to a different formula that specifically targets groundhogs with a blend of citrus and mint oils that’s said to be far better smelling than sulfur-based concoctions. The potion supposedly repels the beasts by creating a burning sensation in their mouths.
It’s certainly worth a try.
So, a ready-to-spray bottle is speeding on its way to us right now.
I just hope all these critters have left something in the garden to use it on by the time it gets here!