Tag Archives: fencing

Flipped Off By The Bird

It’s that time of year again, when even the mildest-mannered gardener turns into a homicidal lunatic.  I wasn’t mild-mannered in the first place, so I’m in full Rambo-mode.

Why, you ask?  (Or maybe you don’t; but tough noogies.  I’m going to tell you anyway.)  Yep, once again I’m locked in a life-or-death struggle with garden-raiding critters.

In March, Hubby took down last year’s bird netting so he could double the size of our strawberry patch.  We now have 22 raised beds, an area 60 feet long and 20 feet wide.  After much anticipation (and much weeding), the first few berries began to blush a couple of weeks ago.

The robins swooped in immediately.

“That’s okay,” I thought.  “It’s a giant patch.  There’ll be enough for all of us.”

Ha.

Robins do not share well.  Nor are they considerate berry-pickers.  When I went out to pick ‘my share’, I discovered that long sharp beaks had plunged into almost every berry that had even a touch of red, and about half the harvest was gone entirely.

Then the robins got possessive.  No longer did they fly away when I approached.  I had to chase them off, waving my arms and shouting obscenities.  (The obscenities probably weren’t strictly necessary, but they made me feel better.)

Then it got to the point where they’d only move about ten feet despite my bellowing and arm-waving; and as soon as I hunkered down to pick the pathetic leftovers, they’d settle in a couple of rows behind me and chow down all over again.

The worst part was their derisive clucking and chirping.  I just knew those little feathered bastards were laughing at me.

So, up went the netting again.  As I secured the last gap, I shot a triumphant look at the robin perched outside the perimeter.  “This is your own fault,” I lectured.  “If you hadn’t been so greedy, you could have still been eating nice fresh berries.”

He let out a loud chirp, flicked his tail at me, and flocked off.  He didn’t have a middle finger to jab skyward, but I got the message loud and clear.  Now I know why they call it ‘flipping the bird’.

At least my berries are ripening unmolested now.  But… last night I spotted a rabbit checking out the veggie garden.

AAARGH!!!  GRAB THE CHICKENWIRE; I’M GOIN’ IN!

Do you ‘enjoy the relaxing hobby of gardening’?

The giant strawberry patch

 

This is how they’re supposed to look: No ugly beak-gouges, just plump beautiful berries. YUM!

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Oh, Deer!

Last week I mentioned that mice were infiltrating our house; but we’re also keeping a hostile eye on the deer that are zeroing in on our garden.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I like deer… in venison pepperoni, with a side of fries…

I’m kidding.  (Okay, not really; venison pepperoni is delicious.  But unless I was really hungry I wouldn’t bother killing a deer just for pepperoni.)

Anyhow, when we bought our beautiful little corner of the wilderness we intended to put an 8’ deer fence around our garden.  That was supposed to have happened a couple of months before the garden was planted, but despite our persistent efforts we still don’t have a fence.  The contractor might finally get it started next week.  Welcome to Island Time.

Fortunately there aren’t many deer around our place, but every now and then one wanders in… like the one I caught grazing on the grass (fortunately not on my peas or beans) this weekend.

I opened the front door and yelled, “HEY DEER, GET LOST!”

The deer stared, and a thought bubble appeared above its head:  “What the…?”

“I SAID GET LOST!”  I strode purposefully toward the garden, expecting the deer to run as soon as it saw me leave the house.  After all, its counterparts in Alberta flee at the barest glimpse of a human. But apparently Island deer are braver.  Or dumber, or both.

It stood gawping at me as if it couldn’t quite believe I had the nerve to interrupt its dinner.  And it didn’t run.

Finally when I was only about 20 yards away it deigned to trot a few paces to the west.  Not away from me, mind you, but laterally; giving ground but refusing to stoop to an undignified retreat.

But the deer was the only one burdened with dignity.  I broke into a gallop over the uneven ground, waving my arms and bellowing, “RUN YA LITTLE BASTARD!  RUN!  HRAAAGH!!!”

After a single incredulous glance the deer took to its heels, but it still didn’t run flat-out.  When I started gaining on it, it finally put on a proper burst of speed and vanished over the berm that surrounds our property, undoubtedly to meet its friends in the forest and describe the wack-job that had just chased it.

And wack-job I was; because I had been in the middle of a construction project.  I was wearing safety goggles; my earmuff hearing protectors had gotten tangled up in my hair so they flopped and bounced (painfully, I might add) off the side of my head; and it was hot so I’d tucked my T-shirt up inside my bra, exposing my pasty white belly.

Seeing that apparition advancing, it’s no wonder the poor damn deer didn’t know what to do.  It was probably laughing too hard to be capable of running.  But my garden is still intact.  So far.

I sure hope we get our deer fence installed this week – the snickering from the forest is starting to get to me.

Know of any good deer deterrents (that aren’t rated by calibre)?

* * *

P.S. Woohoo!  I have a draft cover for Book 12, and preorders should be available shortly.  Stay tuned!  But… I can’t decide on a title.  What do you think?

Here’s the draft of the cover blurb:

Reluctant secret agent Aydan Kelly is posing as an arms dealer when her gangland buyer is implicated in a deadly plot to attack Remembrance Day services. 

Partnered with an agent she can’t trust, Aydan races against time to stop the terrorists; but her partner’s volatile temper might blow the whole op… if it doesn’t kill her first.  And when she discovers her lover is embroiled in the case, Aydan must decide:  Will she sacrifice him to save hundreds of innocent lives?

Have your say:

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