Six and Counting (a rant)

deer_comic 

I started out with 12 tomato plants and six peppers and six flowering kale. After losing some, replacing some, and giving up the fight for awhile the last count was 3 peppers, zero kale, and six tomato plants. I forgot to mention the new raid someone (bunnies?) have made on the impatients I planted. Out of about 24 of those I planted, I've got about 10 left. Two hostas have been munched (one completely gone, one just missing limbs).

This weekend I'm going to get full assault on the enemy. I'm getting replacement plants, chicken wire, and posting Hubs out on the deck with his gun.

Just kidding… or am I?

(I updated this with the comic Michael linked to – seemed very appropriate!)

Noah and The Critters

Doesn't exactly feel like we should be building the ark yet, but wow… we got almost 3" of rain from Wednesday night to Thursday night. Some parts of the state had over 7"! (I'm sorry to rub it in for those of you suffering from drought – been there, done that). Today is to be a dry one, then more rain over the weekend. So glad Hubs got the planting done!! I thought of Noah this morning when I recalled Hubs' and my conversation the other night about all the wild things we have in our yard or nearby vicinity. The deer, squirrels and bunnies have been mentioned (yes, I'm still losing plants, no I don't know why, yes, I've done all the recommended remedies except the fence). We also have neighbors with a small pond as well as the creek that runs right behind out house. The creek has had quite a bit of water in it this spring – some years it dries up pretty good. It just isn't that big of a creek. At any rate, our neighbors have some geese that stick around and they come over to our field. We see blue heron flying around some days, too. They look absolutely huge!

Pheasants are thick right now and Hubs has gotten an area near our driveway that he bush-hogged a few times when we first moved to knock down the "bad" stuff and now it's growing up to good cover for the wildlife. Most days when I go to work I see at least one male and two or three female pheasants somewhere in the area.

We still have one chipmunk (I killed the other one accidentally by leaving a pail of water out that he/she fell into). Guess he/she doesn't hold it against me for that little piece of tragedy. We also have had some of the most gorgeous birds coming around the feeders – ones I thought I'd never see. Indigo buntings, Baltimore orioles, goldfinches, housefinches, and the every present blue jays and cardinals (Hubs even said he saw a hummingbird the other day). Makes for some fun birdwatching for the cats.

When we were building the house we saw huge paw-prints in the snow that were way too big to be a housecat and were not dog prints. We have heard rumors that there have been some mountain lions/cougars in the state and it wouldn't have surprised me a bit to think that was what it was. We also have other preditory animals – hawks and eagles have been sighted as well as a coyote that our builder saw in the yard one day. With all the timber, the creek, and the fields full of corn it makes for a pretty lush area for wild animals – even as close to town as we are.

What got me thinking of the critters this morning – and especially Noah and his "two by two"… I saw two dead foxes on the road today on the way to work, less than a mile from home. They looked like they may have been young ones and were killed a few feet from each other, so were probably traveling together. They really are beautiful animals. What a shame. 

Even if I occasionally hit a deer (or a deer hits me) I still really don't want to let someone come in and hunt them. No, I have nothing against hunting… as long as the hunter is responsible and takes care of their kill and uses the meat. I just hate the thought of scaring them all away. A few tomato plants are worth it to enjoy the wilderness that is our home… only three miles away from "civilization". 

Waiting

With all the snow we've gotten, and now the warmer weather, the inevitable has happened. It's melting. That means lots of flooding in various areas of the state. The creek outside our back door ran the highest I'd seen it for many years – but went down to normal levels pretty quickly. The large front yard where we used to live and our son lives now is about the size of a football field. The whole thing was flooded. Luckily, the house sits on a slight rise, so there was a ways to go before it would be flooded, however it was the highest I'd seen the water since the infamous "floods of '93" that was supposed to be a 500-year flood. As I drove to town one day last week, the whole bottom next to the Squaw Creek was flooded – the banks of the creek totally overrun.

Later that night, Hubs saw on the news where a 79-year-old man had gone missing in a small town to the north of us, and the rescue units were looking for him. Hubs recognized the name as a friend of his mothers', and checked with her (she had gone out of town with brother-in-law's family over spring break). She called back and checked with friends and discovered it was her friend. His wife had gone to town and when she returned home she found his garden tractor near the bank of Squaw Creek where it runs near their home. He evidently had been doing something to try and keep the water from coming up into their yard. Officials think he got too close and was swept away in the rushing water. He was finally found a few days later about one-half mile from his home. Dead.

When we were at the customer appreciation dinner last night we sat next to a neighbor of this man. It seems he had a dog that he took everywhere with him. The neighbor says the dog sits by the bank of the creek where the man went in – still waiting for his master to come home. Aren't critters amazing? So sad… not only the loss of this man in a needless accident, but the poor animal that can't understand that his master is never coming home.