Saturday, July 25, 2020

I Am Not Sure If Our Elders Would Agree, But...

One of my favorite memories when growing up was spending time with my Grandpa in his 2 huge gardens. He loved gardening and he tended to his gardens every single day. When we visited, he and I would spend most of the afternoon in the gardens watering, weeding, harvesting, and...

Figuring out a way to keep "those gah-damn woodchucks out of the garden."

My Grandpa didn't believe in killing the lil' buggers that considered his garden a free vegetable buffet. Instead, he got creative with various methods to scare them away. 

We made scarecrows. Wrapped paper plates in aluminum foil and hung them on dowels around the garden. And, I believe at one point he even hooked up radios at both gardens. 

While these methods filtered out the brave versus the frightened, they didn't completely eliminate the woodchucks from stealing the ripened produce. 

When we bought our house back in February, we agreed that we would let everything cycle for the Spring and Summer seasons. In other words, we were not going to dig up portions of the big backyard for gardens. We did consider building some raised gardens and planting a few things, but...

In the early Spring, I spotted woodchucks in one of our neighbor's yard. 

I suspected this would be the case because his backyard is filled with mountains of vines and brush and little trees. It covers most of his backyard. In addition, on the other side of our backyard fence, there is a lot of wooded areas. 

The prime spots for woodchuck habitats. 

As the season went on, we noticed quite a few more and they made their way into our backyards. They feasted on a lot of our spring flowers and fresh green grass.

Then, they had babies. 

When the babies were old enough, we'd see them in our neighbor's yard and ours. Right about that time, our lawns started drying up. No rain which meant no water sources for the woodchucks, birds, and other wildlife we have in our backyard. 

Mama woodchuck seemed almost miserable when her babies went to her for milk. I don't blame her. More than likely, she was dehydrated. 

We started putting out watermelon, lettuce, cucumbers, and other hydrating produce. Lisa purchased a big and shallow plastic container, kind of like a litterbox, to fill with fresh water.

It didn't take Mama and the babies long to find these treats and drink from the water bath. 

This is right about the time when one of our other neighbors told us that the old owners of this house trapped 7 woodchucks one Summer. Well, apparently that didn't work to eliminate them. 

Lisa and I have accepted the fact that we will never be able to have an inground vegetable and fruit garden. That will more than likely extend to raised gardens because woodchucks know how to climb. If they're determined, they will find a way. 

We decided to simply coexist. We are not taking extreme measures. We obviously know that trapping and relocating them (through the proper channels) doesn't work. 

That's fine. 

They lived here long before we did.

And, we'd much rather circulate produce than throw it away.

I'm not sure if my Grandpa or our other elders would agree, but...

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