Monday, July 2, 2007

Where is Elmer Fudd When You Need Him?

I planted a beautiful vegetable and herb garden this year. It has exactly what I like (cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, peppers, parsley, oregano, basil and mint) and nothing I don’t like (brussel sprouts, beans, okra, and asparagus). I baby the garden trying to find the exact right fertilizer mix, watering just enough but not too much, and making sure it is in a location that gets the right amount of sunlight. But even with all that, there is still something that is threatening my vegetable bounty this year, and I am really angry. Rabbits. Lots of rabbits. A really big daddy rabbit, a medium sized mommy rabbit, and LOTS of hungry little baby rabbits. They have no shame. They will sit and munch for hours on end, and will only hop away when I come storming out the back door, yelling ‘SHOO’ at the top of my lungs.

At the risk of having PETA picketing outside my front door, if my county allowed me shoot the furry ravenous creatures, I would. Or maybe poison them, although that might also put our pets at risk. I’ve also considered a Havaheart trap – one of those little metal cage things in which you put food to lure the pests, and then when they take a bite, a door slams shuts on their little cottontails. Then I found out that even if I trap them, there is a law that prevents me from taking them to a new home. Supposedly that law is to keep people from introducing a rabbit disease into a new area. So what? – I just get to keep the diseased rabbits in my yard?

I do have a Jack Russell Terrier that in her better days could probably have given the rabbits a run for their money. But now, her vision and hearing are so bad that the only way she would locate a rabbit is if she tripped over one. So, what am I left with?

A fence has been suggested. Well, maybe next year, but this year all the gardening funds have already been spent. The only other thing I am aware of and have tried is hot pepper wax spray. It’s a product that comes in a squirt bottle, and I am supposed to spray it on the vegetables and herbs AND remember to wash it off really, really well before serving anything to my family. That spray has afforded a small bit of protection. Now the rabbits only take one bite of a vegetable before deciding it doesn’t taste good. But, because rabbits are not the smartest creatures in the world, they then move on to the next zucchini or tomato or pepper to try it. So, instead of having all the vegetables in my garden eaten, I only have one bite out of all my vegetables. Is this progress?

Where is Elmer Fudd when you need him? Or those Trix kids who always get the cereal away from their pesky rabbit?

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