Thursday, June 26, 2008


There's plenty critters in the fields and forests. Many are quite enjoyable. The birds and bees and butterflies are fed or encouraged to be here with plants that they like. The squirrels, chipmunks, possums and raccoons that live here or pass through are tolerated, even enjoyed for their presence. I've seen turkeys and bats, heard owls and coyotes.

Now I have seen a bunny rabbit.

You would think I would have seen plenty of them up here by now, but this is a first. I did not like seeing this rabbit.

Everyday when I go down to the roadside vegetable garden, I half expect to see a disaster, no not red and yellow flowers together, but the sight of a salad bar that has been picked through. Nothing like that has happened yet.

The worst thing so far is the battle for the broccoli going on. That I understand. The woodchip mulch comes in handy for this too. I get a nice sharp woodchip and pierce the caterpillar's squishy bodies that are eating the broccoli and leave their carcasses on the leaves, thinking it may have a repellent effect. I have squished a lot of caterpillars and the broccoli is hanging in there, starting to make heads.

Maybe you think I was gloating a bit over the deer who doesn't eat roadside produce. I will save any gloating over that for about October 1st. Maybe you realize I am astounded and curious as to how a vegetable garden in a wilderness full of critters remains untouched.

The deer has not been shy about letting its presence be known. Just as curious is why does the deer want to regularly walk on the cut slope along the driveway. It is steep bare dirt. There is nothing to nibble and there is plenty of flat ground to trot on close by. Does the soft soil feel good between its toes?

I caught the deer in the vicinity again, this time with camera in hand. To the right of the rubbish pile, between the two tree trunks in the center of the shot. Did I say shot?

The resident gardeners have been growing vegetables up here for a long time. There are good years and bad years, but there is always something home grown to add to the table.

I am not worried too much. There will be fresh produce to add to the table and if it is a bumper crop year, bags of fresh food can be delivered to the local soup kitchen.

I just go to sleep each night wondering when or if the pillaging will begin.


Anonymous said...

Like you, I worry about pillaging of your garden. Perhaps there is enough food in the wild that they are not curious enough about the veggies - yet. I have had simultaneous gardens in 2 areas 60 miles apart, with largely similar plants, and have noticed the deer in each location eat different things.
And what about 2 legged critters coming along the road? I once caught a neighbor stealing tomatoes from my front yard at 6 a.m. When I vigorously banged on my bedroom window, he casually walked off without looking up. The nerve!!! (:


Christopher C. NC said...

I know Bev. Last year one of the two legged critters was caught stealing flowers. They claimed they didn't know the place belonged to anyone. Well.. it is a lot tidier now. That excuse won't work anymore.

Lola said...

Hi Christopher, Love your pics of surrounding views. Reminds me of the place we had in Whittier, N.C. I know what you mean about some people that don't pay attention to being on someone else's property. They are too use to rambling all over without regard for others even to taking what they want regardless.
I am patiently watching as your home continues to become complete. I know it will be something else when finished. You sure have some beautiful views. I love the mtns.

chuck b. said...

The bunny is a scary sight, tho' perhaps not as bad as red and yellow flowers.

I just bought some Liquid Fence to keep the stray cats from shitting in my backyard garden, and the neighbor's dogs from urinating on my front steps.

They sell a formulation for deer too... Lisa at millertime endorses it.

Alas, nothing for raccoons (I asked) which are the real pests in my garden.

Frances, said...

Hi Christopher, good job with the broccoli. We cannot grow any brassicas here, the number of caterpillars is disgusting on them. We have noticed that the rabbits that were such a problem in the veggie patch earlier in the year now have enough other vegetation to eat and all the food stuffs are untouched. It must be a seasonal thing.

Christopher C. NC said...

Chuck I am amazed that you have city raccoons. I have only seen one so far, checking out the deck at the resident gardener's house.

Frances I am HOPING that a plentiful natural food supply is what is keeping the veges free of pillage. Now if only the Sulfur butterflies would stick to the wild Brassica. There is plenty of that.

lisa said...

Yea, optimism is good, but I think your gut is right: it's a matter of time. I'm sure the animals are curious about the new activity, and will become less wary and even MORE curious about the new vegetation. I've noticed that sometimes my wild evening primrose will serve as a "sacrifice plant" next to an ornamental, being devoured by caterpillars while my perennials remain safe. (Not that evening primrose isn't nice, too.) Maybe if you notice some of your wildflowers are favorites, you could relocate them for this purpose. ('ll either work or attract more! ;-) That Liquid Fence product IS the bomb, too...especially for rabbits and deer.

Christopher C. NC said...

Lisa I will have to check into that Liquid Fence. I see a lot of bites on the Solomon's Seal and False Solomon's Seal. Got plenty of that. The vege garden is right beside the road too. While it is a country road there is enough traffic to scare critters. It is a major motorcycle route and they are LOUD.

We have plenty of Evening Primose, three species I think. Right now someone is loving the baby Hollyhocks.