Field of Science

Wildlife friendly yard to a point

My wife and I own a most excellent property, a big park-like yard right in the middle of our city. Properties like ours are rare, especially when their fate is usually to be subdivided and developed. Indeed, the former owner worried that an unscrupulous buyer would take advantage of a buildable lot to make a quick buck. Our goal is to garden.

Our yard is certified friendly to wildlife, and indeed many animals live in and stop by. Night before last we watched a little red bat swooping over our lily pond to grab drinks of water. The birds are certainly a constant delight. But there are times when my love of wildlife wears a bit thin in the rodent department. The rabbits are a bit annoying, but the fox squirrels and woodchucks can be a downright pain.

My early kitchen garden was coming along quite nicely: spinach, lettuces, broccoli, snap peas, scallions. And they were fenced to keep the rabbits at bay. But a woodchuck pushed under the fence and made quite a nice feast of our early garden. Small gardens only provide a modest meal for such gluttons, and here I publically declare war. Live and let live extends only as far as the boundaries of my garden. I cannot say how it will be done, but with some luck and our superior intellect, a truce will be reached whereby the garden goodies will be eaten by the people raising them and a woodchuck will continue their life of plant consumption elsewhere, a distant elsewhere.

I'm all for ecology within limits. So let this be a warning to the squirrels. A repeat of last year's consumption of every single strawberry long before they were ripe will have severe reprecussions. You've been warned. Exile awaits.

No comments: