Sunday, June 22, 2008

Not so cute anymore, are you...

Sonofabitches eating my garden.

Oh sure. I was all so "How cute!" when Tom first pointed out where Mrs. Woodchuck had built her main entrance and out popped 2 (3?) babies.

And I was all "How sad" when a brown splat in the road was very likely the Mrs. (How will the babies survive?)

Very well, it seems.

Our section of land in this area has the equivalent of an underground railway system. The burned out potato barn that stood here before we bought the property had a system of cement drainage trenches all around it.

Woodchuck hole entrance number 2 was 30 feet to the right and 30 feet closer to my garden. The Mrs. stood at the edge of that hole screaming at me and Jazz while the garden was being planted.

At this point I began wondering What DO woodchucks eat?
Because this is MY GARDEN.
I'm fighting the weeds & wildlife for it this year.

Whatever it takes.

The Have-A-Heart trap came out. Babies wanted nothing to do with the strawberry I placed inside. They started with spinach. Ate a dozen plants right down to ground with just little bare stems poking out.
Fine. I'll plant more. And keep covering them up at night. Except they come out about every 3 hours. Day & night to dine. I'm thinking because there's no mom, there's no fear?

Next they moved on to zucchini.
Well at least they just ate the outer leaves (ALL of them). But the centers of the plants are still intact. They'll keep growing and I'll build fence cages around them.

Cucumbers. Yum! Little bitches got most every leaf off several plants - right through the fencing. Their little heads fit right through the mesh.

One even climbed down into the holes of the cement blocks I used to prop up windows as a barrier. Not sure which one of us was more scared as we found ourselves nose to nose, less than 3 feet between us.

Screaming KEEP OUT - I MEAN IT!
Not very effective, it seems?

Read on one man's blog about how he peed in the hole and they never came back. One of our friends stopped by after hiking Mt. Katahdin, working on trail maintenance all day and obliged at entrance number 1.
Too many underground railway systems to be very effective.
Or not enough friends?

Husband instructed to DO SOMETHING (else ;) !

DEAD EYE garden defender: 2 shots.
2 dead woodchucks.

(Tom thought there were only 2, but I think there are 3 showing in one of the pictures.)

Don't say I didn't warn you.


Ruth said...

Not only do the bloody things eat everything, they're nasty and they are very very smart. We tried to catch them in an animal friendly trap with pieces of carrots. The bad things flipped the cage over, took out the carrots, and then sat on top of the trap eating them.

Mrs. John said...

Just a note to say I stopped by... and to say: you tried longer than I would have to 'deter' the pests. I am still battling heat and weeds... no chewing or eating pests yet... unless you count the ones I have grazing around outside the yard on purpose! :) It is amazing how a goose can get through a TINY hole... and how quickly a goat learns to walk across a cattle guard! :)
Anyway, sounds like you are knitting and hiking... and keeping yourself busy! :)
Mrs. John