Sunday, August 01, 2010

An Insolent Chipmunk's Garbage

Animal Angst

This year has been the very apex of animal devastation in my gardens since I have lived here  in Hiram. That is twenty-six years of gardening.
Deer routinely have entered the vegetable garden despite the use of various repellents. They have utterly destroyed my cabbage, broccoli, fennel, beet, bush bean and carrot crops. I planted two dwarf pear (Keiffer), and three dwarf peach (2 Redhaven 1 Elberta) trees this year that seem particularly attractive to them; they enjoy stripping new leaves and breaking tender branches in the process. I just purchased three semi-dwarf apple (MackIntosh, Liberty, Fuji) , two dwarf plum (Santa Rosa) and another dwarf peach (Bartlett) that need to be planted today but the prospect depresses me. A three year old purple smokebush is browsed regularly, keeping it at a height of less than two feet. Beth's hostas are being munched.
Chipmunks have acquired a taste for the cherry tomatoes growing in pots by the back door. They climb the plants breaking them.  They eat the fruits as they ripen and leave the skins (which they reject) on the back step as a flagrant challenge to human authority.
Groundhogs devastated the strawberries in the spring.
For the first time, birds devoured every last blueberry on six bushes that have yielded well for ten years.
As usual, bears ripped down our bird feeders in the spring and took them into the woods for a leisurely dismantling. There is nothing like a seed snack after a long hibernation.

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