This is the first year of gardening without having a dog. What do the two have to do with one another? Well, read on and learn how a dog lazing in the yard helped the garden’s yield.
It all started this spring when Mike was ranting that the rabbits were eating the peas down to the dirt. (Yes my husband does a great Mr. McGregor of Peter Rabbit fame impression.) However one day when I was going to the garage I spotted the real culprits – not rabbits but baby squirrels.
Cut to earlier this week. I was sitting here at my desk working. My office window was wide open as it was a warm day. Outside I hear messy eating sounds, slurping, smacking… I look and on the end of our fence near my window sat a large squirrel holding one of our good big red tomatoes just eating away. He’d hit a seed pocket and SLURP it up then look up with seeds on his cheeks and a pink tongue darting about to clean his whiskers.
Then yesterday again heading to the garage I scared a passel (yes you fellow Southerners know how many I mean, the rest of you it’s kinda like bunch) of squirrels from the garden. Some chomping roma tomatoes, others nibbling peppers – heck one had the guts to take a whole big bell with him while his compatriot ran off with a green beefsteak tomato!
It’s bad enough that they are raiding us blind of veggies and our rabbit fence does nothing to stop this climbing buggers – but now they are waking me at three am with their arguments, drunken singing or whatever in the hell it is that possesses squirrels to scream and chitter amongest themselves at that hour! I kid you not! I can set my clock by it. There’s barking like calls, then chirping, then screams followed by barking again. Mike says Mr. Squirrel comes home drunk and Mrs. Squirrel is giving him what for. It reminds me of the BBC ad where the ground squirrel keeps barking “Allen, Allen” then he says “That’s not Allen that’s Jack! Jack, Jack, Jack…”
We’ve had issues before with them. One year when our apple tree had hard knotting apples due to the drought, they threw the apples at us. No, really I’m serious. They would sit on the awning over the back door and when we opened the door drop the apple that would roll down and hit us in the head or shoulders. We learned that season to just wait a moment for the apple to fall before proceeding out the door.
Now back to the dog and the garden, you see when we had a dog the squirrel raids were limited to the apple tree. The doggie scent about the yard kept them from dining upon the produce. Now dear Belle is long gone and this is the first summer without Rappy… and the squirrels are taking over.
As I’m typing this I see one run the phone line with a small pepper in his mouth. I hope it’s a ghost pepper and it burns his mouth and gives him heart burn all night long – as long as he doesn’t shout about it at midnight to wake me twice tonight…