Tuesday, May 22, 2012

An Open Letter to Mother Nature

We enjoy seeing wildlife on the PERIMETER of our lawn.  But, they often get the erroneous idea that because a certain area, such as the front porch, appears deserted and abandoned 23 hours of every day that we no longer use or want said area, and they are therefore welcome to barge in and do with it as they wish.  Every morning, as I make my rounds, I dread what new breach of our defenses I will find. 
This morning, I awoke to a dream that hogs had gotten into the garden and left large, pig shaped depressions in bed #6.  Which, in my dream, I photographed and Blogged about, afraid to awaken Tim with the news.  In reality, it was coons and some mischief with my annuals, both planted and unplanted.  I did tell him, and then I stomped off to the office with this Blog, which had been percolating in the back of my mind since Saturday, on full boil.
Dear Mother Nature,
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times.  I own 75 acres of farm land.  Our property here is 16 acres.  Of those 91 acres combined, there is a wide range of habitat.  There are rolling fields, wetlands, babbling brooks.  There are acres of both deciduous and pine forests.  There nearly abandoned apple orchards.  There the wildlife can carry on their business, eating the abundant nuts, grasses and native shrubs, apples and other wild flora.  They can dig holes and poop all over to their heart’s content.  Of those 91 acres, we have staked out less than 2 for our own use.  That is just 2.19% of the whole. Wildlife is Not Welcome.  Stay OFF my two acres.  If you do not, I will shock, trap, shoot, or otherwise make your life miserable.  You will recognize my two acres by the carefully manicured lawns, elaborate fences, and the faint sound of an electric fencer.  Tell all your little furry and feathered  friends:
From now on, there will be no bird’s nests on the front porch.  Yes it is exceedingly charming, and sheltered from the elements, but that wildflower wreath is fake.  I am sorry you were taken in by it.  Those are silk flowers, and they’re mine.  And I don’t like cleaning mud and pine twigs off the rugs and rockers every morning.  We DO use this porch, when we’re not busy defending our territory.  Get out.  Pick a tree. Any tree.  There are thousands of them.

Birds should also be respectful of the garden. Yes, there are lovely bugs in there to eat.  You are welcome to them.  I don’t even mind you eating sunflower seeds.  I actually put those there for you.  I don’t know why the Mourning Doves felt it necessary to pull up all the onion plants five days in a row.  When I found the onion sets rounded up in a group as if you were going to either hatch them, or host a Snooker tournament, I began to feel you had gone too far.

Bees and other pollinators are welcome.  We have provided accommodations within an easy distance of the garden, as well as shallow water sources.  However, there will be no mud wasp nest in the downspout.  The Engineering error in that will soon become apparent.  Don’t blame me, it was your idea.  Ground bees are not welcome under the steps, particularly with their notoriously surly attitude.  As much as it pains us, we WILL employ chemical warfare.        

Underneath the chicken coop is NOT the ideal location for a chipmunk army surplus nut commissary.  There are many hollow trees not 50 feet away which you are welcome to.  You chippies paid a heavy price for that and seem to have learned your lesson.
There will be no baby rabbits raised in the luxurious confines of the strawberry cages.  You may have pulled one over on Farmer McGregor, but I have better technology and a very clever husband.   If I admit to him now that he was right, and should have framed in the berry bed with 2x6es and hinged the cages along one side, it will make me look bad.  Plus, I already planted asparagus along the side, and hinging the cages now will necessitate me moving the asparagus bed.  Again.

Woodchucks will be shot on sight.  Destructive burrowing little bastards.  Neighbor Mike has gotten quite good at it and now thinks nothing of shooting right through his screened in porch to take you by surprise.  The first hole is the hardest.  After that it’s actually sort of fun.

My perennial border is not an all you can eat Chinese buffet for local yolkel white tails.  Y’all wouldn’t recognize a native forage species if it smacked you in the face.  Hint, in case you already missed it: Hostas are from CHINA.

And too the raccoons… No, I did not hide a Cracker Jack Prize randomly under one of the sixteen marigolds I planted last night.  You do not have to lift each one to check.  The chipmunks probably told you that, as they have been operating under that delusion for nearly a decade.  There are plenty of grubs and slugs to be found elsewhere.  I even salted them for you.  And the seed potatoes in the pots… are the same ones you dug up and discarded yesterday.  They are still just as boring and just as dirty.  Only now they have to reroot themselves.  Thank you, at least for just reaching in and stirring around this time instead of spreading dirt all over the gravel.  I hope you enjoyed the red basil.  It is quite tasty isn’t it?  But dirty seed potatoes actually taste better with parsley.  No, I will not be planting any.


Exasperated Gardener

P.S.  My boss says he is not amused by what the Beaver living in his pond did to his dock.


  1. Which causes us to wonder what exactly did the beaver *DO* to his dock?

  2. Chewed it down and used it as infrastructure.

  3. Oh boy! Sounds like a bit of a battle! lol
    We once had a mama moose and her baby on our front lawn, in town, snacking on my ornamental crab apple tree! Had to sit there and watch until she was ready to move on because you don't *dare* try to shoo a moose away!!

  4. Can you CC the critters in my garden too? I totally feel your pain. We've had our zucchini seedlings eaten, parsley, cabbage seedlings, beet greens too. Oh, and some strawberries sampled. ARG! Not to mention the slugs that ate all the greenery on the marigolds, the flea beetles that nearly killed the baby eggplants! Oh, and whatever you are, STOP EATING MY PEPPER PLANTS!!

    Off to plant new seeds AGAIN.

    I hope the critters stay away from your garden. We heard it was going to be a bad year for pests in our area so we anticipate a rough garden season. =(

  5. p.s. Your mason bee house is adorable!

  6. I actually can handle the slugs. Not only do we go out and battle them on appropriate damp evenings, but slug bait and diatomaceous earth really work. I have the slug bait sprinkled between the pea rows and in the strawberries, and each cuke seedling is surrounded by diatomaceous earth.

    Flea Beetles can be killed with powder, but I prefer just to crush them daily until the plant gets big enough to handle it. They are all over the potatoes. I chase the livelier ones down the row and get about a third of them in the end.

  7. Thank you for all the tips. I had no idea slugs loved cucumbers or other seedlings. Maybe that is where my beet and spinach seedlings went. This is our second year and we didn't have a problem like this last year. Wow. So much to learn still!!!! I better get on this before they eat everything.

    We put some row cover over the eggplant seedlings and some insecticidal soap. That seemed to help. I tried eggshells around the marigolds about a week ago but they still managed to eat them all. Maybe I didn't put it down thick enough. Maybe I'll go out with a flashlight and do some slug hunting!

  8. Slugs are very sneaky. Last year I lost most of my cucumber transplants to what looked like damping off. When I got right down there and looked, there were baby slugs so tiny you could line two of them up head to tail on a grain of rice.

    This year that bed holds peas. That generation of slugs is now about the size of couscous (LOL) and eating the peas. They have not infiltrated any other bed, so the slug war is concentrated there. At least this year there aren't so many of them.