Once again, I find myself buying South Carolina strawberries from the Farmer’s Market while my own crop has nary a ripe berry which hasn’t been sampled by a critter or varmint. (It depends on my mood as to which they are.) Yesterday I looked out at my plants and saw a robin so fat that she had either just eaten a pint of berries or swallowed a tennis ball.
The birds, however, are not the worst offenders. A darned convention of chipmunks has set up banquet tables under the leaves. Just like last year, they eat the ripe ones and toss the ones not up to standard out for me. Sure, I could pick them before they ripen. . . but WHY? I don’t like them then, either!
The brazen chipmunks ignore me until I’m close enough to see their tattoos and birthmarks. By that time, I’m afraid if I shoo them, they’ll run across my toes. Impasse! Miss Piggy is no help at all. One day I saw her in the strawberry patch and was heartened until she came out, dropped a dazed bee on the sidewalk, then ate it. The chipmunks kept on eating.
I took out most of the plants last year. The rest will be on the compost pile by the end of the month.
The squirrels leave the berries as second choice, hitting them only if the bird feeders are unavailable. Dearly Beloved rubs grease on the feeder pole, but before he can come inside and declare Mission Accomplished, a squirrel is back up the pole, his face in the bird feeder.
We’ve screamed “GET OUT OF THERE!“ so often that the neighbors think we’re near divorce.
Ordinarily, the three small rabbits which play in the back of the garden would be Public Enemies #1, 2, and 3, but they’re happy with the clover, having already eaten my tall Asian lilies down to nubs. I suppose they were playing the Ant and Rubber Tree Plant game.
I have to admit (out of their earshot, of course) that they’re cute. I’ve never seen rabbits play together before, but since I’m often at the window on squirrel patrol, I’ve had ample time to observe them. There’s plenty of action out there.
The blackbirds and woodpeckers are wolfing down a suet cake every other day and the seed feeders empty so fast that one afternoon a bird lighted on the windowsill, looked right at me and told me to get out there and put more seed in the damn feeder.
No, I am not exaggerating.
It’s been cloudy here for the past couple of days and since the rabbits play way back by the compost pile, my pictures–taken from inside–are little more than blurs. The bunnies dash toward each other until one leaps over the other, perhaps a rabbit version of Chicken? While they play, Cottontail, the third sibling, ignores them and continues to stuff himself with clover.
All this time, I thought the Bunny Hop was just a dance.
Yesterday was cloudy and rainy which meant we’d be around the house all day. Since we were already fooling with Mother Nature outside, I made blueberry – bran muffins with flax seeds and walnuts, for a little inside action. The first batch was fine, but I forgot the second pan and left it in the oven an extra 30 minutes. The muffins didn’t burn, but they have the texture of baseballs. Normally, I’d have thrown them away, but I saved these for a higher purpose.
We don’t have to yell at the squirrels any more. We can lob bran genades at them.