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Squirrel Wars and a New Collage

October 10, 2011

Tangled - Collage, 5x5"

I think I mentioned one day last week that we were losing our young red cabbage plants at an alarming rate.

  • Update:  I had 8, and now there are none.

At first I thought it was slugs, so I put out slug bait in the form of beer in a shallow container. I wasn’t 100% convinced it was slugs because there were no silvery trails on top of the soil. But I tried that anyway.

Then with no slugs showing up in the beer, I decided it was cutworms. The next night I made elaborate little cardboard collars for all the plants.

The next morning there were fewer plants, with leaves lying everywhere and cardboard collars tossed aside.

The next morning I saw a huge Kale leaf four feet from its original location, with teeth marks on the stem. The leaf was fine. Just the stem had chew marks all over it. I’m a big fan of Sherlock Holmes, so I got out my magnifying glass and could see distinct double teeth marks that indicated a possible bunny rabbit. At this point I hadn’t yet thought about squirrels.

Then the very next morning, I went out to the garden with my dog Reno looking for bunnies, and caught two juvenile squirrels in the act of tearing up the rest of the red cabbage. They saw me coming and hightailed it up an electrical pole that is right beside my garden fence. They stopped about four feet up, peeking at me from the back side of the pole. We were not more than 4 feet apart. They were obviously saying “Please, lady. Just go on back in the house so we can continue having a little fun.”

It was immediately apparent that they weren’t old enough to be afraid of me. I yelled at them. I clapped my hands and stomped my feet. I said “Get the the #&$^ out of my #&$$% garden!!!” They moved just a little farther up the pole, but not that far. They just looked at me, waiting for me to go inside again.

My dogs? They could care less. I’ve tried to incite them to go after the squirrels but they will have none of it.

My only remaining defense are four toy rubber snakes that I’ve been using in the tomato patch. I’ve moved those over to guard the green cabbages and the kale. I have my doubts that this will make a difference.

Damn, this garden is expensive!

I tried to take a picture of the squirrels but they’re too fast for me.




10 Comments leave one →
  1. October 10, 2011 10:23 pm

    that’s what happens with gardens sometimes. Here we have moose, which will eat all the cabbage family plants unless you build an 8″ fence around them.

    For 3 years in a row, just as my green beans were ready to pick, I would come out and they would be all flattened, so I kept blaming my poor 125# dog. After he died, I found out it was a moose, and I did have cutworms in my turnips one year, so sometimes it’s a battle.

    • October 11, 2011 12:34 am

      Sue, it’s frustrating whether it be moose, cutworms, or delinquent squirrels. One year the squirrels ate not only my green beans but the entire vines. This garden has been very experimental, since I hadn’t done it for so many years. Time will tell if I give up on certain crops because of their attractiveness to other creatures. I’m already preparing for how to protect the blueberries when the bushes get bigger and really start producing. Netting will be in order, I’m sure.

  2. October 11, 2011 2:31 am

    Love your collage, it looks like a view from a window with pulled back curtains!

    We had rabbits. So many DH stopped growing veggies. Hoping to start again next year, the ground where they lived has been developed.

    • October 11, 2011 7:43 am

      Myfanwy, we have rabbits too! However, they’re a little more respectful of the dogs than the squirrels are. I hope your rabbits have found a nice place in a big open field somewhere else. Glad you like the collage!

  3. Sandra permalink
    October 11, 2011 2:38 am

    They’ll probably eat the snakes you’ve put out too! Reminds me of a TV program showing a squirrel which had worked out how to get chocolate bars out of a vending machine – without paying! I gather that critters adapt very well to city life and develop great survival skills. We don’t have squirrels in NZ, perhaps just as well, my neighbour’s cat creates enough mess as she has no concept of property boundaries! Your collage is very dramatic, I think it must have been influenced by the squirrel battle.

    • October 11, 2011 7:44 am

      Sandra, squirrels are so cheeky and smart. Not many people let their kitties out around here. There are too many loose dogs. I don’t like that part of where we live, but it’s as fact of life. So my cat is never allowed outside.

      Well, I “chose” this collage for the subject matter. It was actually created last week.

  4. October 11, 2011 11:43 am

    I know it’s not humorous but the way you related the story was fun.
    Would it help to tell you that here in Northern New Mexico we are
    having many, many problems with bears?
    They aren’t all that cute.
    Scary really, stumbling through gardens, eating goats, chickens,
    dogs and in one case attacking a horse.

    I haven’t written for awhile, it was a very busy Summer here. I am
    the owner of a small bistro in an area full of art galleries so we have
    a lot of tourists. Things are beginning to slow down a bit. I look at
    your work regularly even though I have not commented, I have really
    liked what you have been doing.

    • October 11, 2011 4:28 pm

      Oh my goodness, Kai! I don’t know what I would do if I lived around bears. They are kind of scary. And destructive, and dangerous. I’m really happy that you like my work. I wish I could come check out your bistro. It sounds so delicious! Congratulations on having a busy summer. That’s a good thing in this economy.

  5. October 12, 2011 9:32 am

    I wish I could see a picture of you down there and them up there :-p .. Cheeky little critters – but so cute (at a distance).

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