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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

DoN 0, Wildlife 1

The epic battle for control over the territory known as my backyard is finally over and I have lost. I have ceded this key ground to the local wildlife: the squirrels, moles, chipmunks, and commoner birds that have invaded my feeders rather than the cardinals and bluejays that I have tried to attract. It's over and I'm glad.

It's been such a struggle. Oh, I can hear you...did I try sprinkling cayenne pepper on my birdfeed? Oh yes, I did. And I ended up attracting all the Cajun squirrels and chipmunks in the Northeastern Ohio area. You should have seen them in their little overalls with only one strap on, chattering "This here the bes' food in the area, I gar-on-teeeee!" Did I use a contraption known as a squirrel baffle? But of course! The little bastards leapt off the garage roof, off the trellis, off the shrubbery, off neighboring trees...those s.o.b's developed vertical leaps to make Michael Jordan weep. They bypassed said baffle and went straight to the source: the roof of the feeder by any means necessary. I developed super-acute hearing; I could hear the sound of squirrelpaws on the metal birdfeeder roof from anyplace in the house. I would rush to the backdoor of the house, grab my bb gun, poke the muzzle out the door with the stealth of the finest Delta Force sniper, and ping that bushytail right in the ass. (Oh stop it! It never did anything but sting it! It would leap off and run away!) But, did any of this stop any of them?
In a word, no.

The chipmunks...relentless burrowers, those. In my pots, in my mulch beds, in the centers of my bedding plants. They tear through my landscape beds and wreak havoc. They are cute, but they are destructive. They build nests in my gutters and cause them to overflow when it rains, which admittedly during the hot and dry summer we are having here this year has not been often, but it has happened. And they make full use of the mole holes and tunnels, making them even bigger and more unsightly, which leads me to those damnable pests...

The goddamn moles. The bane of my yard. MY SWORN ENEMY FOR LIFE. I have a gorgeous backyard which is no yard at all, but actually a fully landscaped garden including a fishpond and waterfall. (I will have Computer Guru Husband* post a picture soon.) What does one see when one is viewing my waterfall? A goddamn mole hole. Right to the right of the waterfall. I keep plugging it up and trying to artistically arrange the creeping phlox over it, and every night the frikkin' mole does his Urban Renewal Thing. So, CGH* and I decide to do a little research and see what we can do to fight the moles without hurting the garden and/or especially the fish. We come up with the Ultrasonic Mole Chaser. We order one and when it comes, he opens the box and approaches me with this long, metal, cylindrical object that looks like...well, he says, "Hon, did you order something...special for yourself????" Yeah, it looks like one of those.
However, let's just say it's been way less satisfying than one of those. In short, it hasn't done the job. There is a mole tunnel RIGHT PAST THE DAMN THING. (Insert heavy sigh here.)

So, yesterday, after I got home from my physical therapy appointment (I am trying to "thaw" a frozen shoulder...rotator cuff injury, the pain is...well, yikes!) and popped my Vicodin like a good girl, I sat out on my deck waiting for the train to Narcoticville. A particularly sassy squirrel sauntered (yes, yes it did! remember, I was not yet IN Narcoticville!) into my yard. It was being very nonchalant. I could tell it was casing the joint. The feeder was mobbed already by what I call "WalMart birds", i.e. sparrows, which are nothing special. The squirrel wandered casually over toward the shepherd's hook near the feeder, then glanced at me over its shoulder and shimmied up the hook, flung itself onto the trellis, and jumped into the seedcatcher tray on the feeder pole. At this precise moment the black mole chose to scurry from under the boxwood near the pond and I am not kidding.

Luckily, I was within sight of Narcoticville and, like Vegas, it is the city that never sleeps. (Or is that New York? Doesn't matter.) I watched while the squirrel calmly ate seed from the tray; soon, the sparrows it had scared away by its rather unorthodox landing returned to the feeder to resume snacking. Hazy with Vicodin, I came to realize that I just didn't care anymore. I'm tired of fighting the varmints. They win. I'm hanging up my gun (for the record, Moms everywhere, I never shot my eye out!), and I'm going to get my money back for the Ultrasonic Molechaser/Satanic Vibrator Device.

Sometimes, we CAN all just get along.

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous12:54 AM

    Wow, I wonder if those squirrels would be pre-seasoned. You know, them is good eatin. Not like that fancy store bought meat, but at least with nature's bounty you don't have to worry about chain stores screwing over union butchers. I say get a real gun and peg those suckers in the throat (less shot to pick out of the ex-squirrel) and grill 'em. Of course, pre-vicodin for the killin' and citzenship in narcoticville for the eatin.

    I really enjoy this blog. I've laughed out loud and I usually don't bother when I'm online.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Princess8:47 PM

    Nance--
    You know the squirrels are God's little creatures...Get them some hazelnuts..I hear they like them.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Are you sure you don't live next door to me? Spot you a mole and raise you two groundhogs. This last week the bird feeder has been emptied over and over by grackles and if I could make JG's bob gun perform, I would aim for the eye.

    ReplyDelete

Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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