I like cute little furry animals I really do. Their bright eyes, twitching whiskers, endearing little ears. Yep, I’m an old softie when it comes to Disney-esque critters.
Unless of course they are eating my vegetables. The vegetables are for me, not for the rodents! I suppose if I had an enormous garden and many plants of each veg, I wouldn’t mind so much, but with only 5 broccoli plants, each one is precious to me.
The story begins a few days ago, I was up before dawn, watering the garden, enjoying a cup of coffee. The few days of nearly perfect sunny days with low humidity required that I water. The train at 6:45 required that I get up early to do it.
So there I was…watering happily – noting the good progress of most of the vegetables and I saw it. The smallest broccoli plant – with no flower stalk, had been nibbled, nay, savaged, by some yet-unnamed beast.
What the …? I’ve never seen damage like this before but then again…
I recalled I’d seen some tell tale signs – one of the chard leaves had been neatly clipped a day or so earlier.
And the peas which have grown the best ever had the growing tips gnawed off about 30 inches off the ground. That bit had me fooled… Birds maybe? But, as long as there were many blossoms and the promise of peas I didn’t fret.
Friday morning I awoke, and performed my morning chores. All 5 broccoli plants were severely damaged. I was very unhappy for a couple reasons. 1) More damage and probably worse 2) I had to go to work so I had no way to address the problem.
After work I practically rushed into the garden, still in my business clothes. There, caught in flagrante delicto was not one but two young rabbits – one sitting casually in the broccoli bed, munching unhurriedly on the broccoli leaves, and the other, oh the other…
Stretched up on his hind legs, forepaws grasping and pulling down the pea vines, chewing on the tender growing tips. He looked like an antelope on the Serengeti browsing in a tree. I shouted, and they both turned slowly to calmly contemplate the big angry human charging their positions. With that, they quickly hopped into the dense cover of the back garden and out of sight. Looks like very little broccoli this year.
I was muttering as I covered the brassicas with netting and set the alarm to get up early. Before dawn I was up, again surveying the damage. As soon as the big box store opened I went and purchased a live trap to hopefully capture and relocate the miscreants.
I arrived home and it was still early, cool and a light drizzle had begun to fall. And there, there they were, two little cute bunnies, joined by not one, but two chipmunks! So! We know who the bad influence is in this rotten bunch.
The battle is joined, and though I expect further casualties, I will not rest until the rabbits are gone.
What are you doing to protect your crops?
Until next time, Keep Digging and Eat Well.
Most wanted #1 behind bars
Verdict: Guilty of pilfering produce
Sentence: Exile, summarily carried out