Sunday, August 22, 2010

How Much Wood Could a ...

woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

More garden adventures here, and not happy ones. It started with noticing a half-eaten tomato on the ground of the raised bed. No, I did not and will not take pictures of destruction.
A better blogger would give you photographic evidence. I'm too grumpy about it.

After the half-eaten tomato, we found munched and crunched cucumbers and nibbles in our failing broccoli. I don't eat as many tomatoes as my boys, but I was still annoyed. I was especially perturbed about the cucumbers. And then Aaron saw the culprit:

Groundhog. Woodchuck. Marmot. Land beaver. Marmota monax. Rodent of the family sciuridae. And if you think that Latin family sounds like squirrel, you would be right. The groundhog is a large ground squirrel, according to Wikipedia.

On the plus side, it is a cute critter and appears to be much more scared of humans than the smaller tree squirrels.

On the negative side, it has a voracious appetite. While we were enjoying time with our family in Indiana and Chicago, it ate every last leaf of potential broccoli and chomped at several more cucumbers. It started in on the swiss chard, but apparently didn't like it as much as the rest of the garden. Our garden became land-beaver buffet.

I read about ways to encourage the furry critter to leave - pepper spray (not the kind you use for self-defense), moth balls, the urine of predators. I bought 2 of those 3 suggestions (care to guess which?). This morning Caleb woke up half the neighborhood with primal screams of defending our turf. He called it a fat squirrel (pretty accurate) among other choice epithets.

As I sat down to share the joys of Greek yogurt and the frustration of our newest pest, I watched the furry fat squirrel forage in our grass, far from the raised bed. Maybe one of my deterrents turned him off from the bed? I can but only hope.

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