The sun is shining this morning and has melted the new snow we had yesterday. The weather station is off in la-la land again (guess I'll have to get another circuit board for it, my third since buying the station) but I guess it is around 35 degrees F. Seems to be no wind; a nice day in March in northern Vermont.
Sometimes in the early morning I'll find deer that have been eating the ground cover ivy next to the house. This stuff has kinda taken over, so I don't mind them eating it back a bit. I've been seeing a lot of deer in the neighborhood lately, mostly does with a occasional young-un in tow. They've chewed off the soft buds on the apple trees up to about eye level. They've been doing this for years, but I can't see that it has harmed the trees any.
In the summer the deer are a menace. I've found it impossible to grow a garden, as they eat just about anything I grow. At first it was the leafy vegetables, and the tops of beets and carrots and broccoli. They left the squash plants, and the cucumber vines alone, as well as the tomato plants. But in the last few years they've eaten just about anything that grows in the space except, of course, the weeds.
I've not taken any steps to deter them in the past (last year, struggling so much with pain, I didn't plant a garden at all...just kept the herbs, and had some tomato and bell peppers in containers on the deck). If I do decide to grow a garden this year, I'll have to come up with some sort of deterrent. So far I've heard that human hair, human urine, and various types of soap around the garden will keep them away. There are also commercial products that are supposed to work. There are some fencing tricks I've heard, and seen amongst my neighbors, that I may have to do, but I'll try the other things first.
Cute critters that become pests are sort of the order of the day when you live next to miles of wilderness. For years I've had running battles with red squirrels, who are too small to trigger the squirrel-proof bird-feeders. For awhile I used the ultimate solution (a .410) before I started to feel guilty. Since they were destroying the feeders as well raiding them, it wasn't hard to justify this harsh action. But one day while looking for something else in Home Depot I discovered a Hava-Hart trap, and decided to try that instead. I found this to be a much more humane, efficient, and satisfying way to deal with the problem. Thus began the Great Red Squirrel Relocation Program.
Right now I have only one red who comes around, and he spends most of his time cleaning up the lost seeds dropped by the birds, so he does me a favor of sorts. But he has started raiding the feeder, too. I don't like relocating squirrels in the winter time; they have a hard enough time finding food as it is. But soon...this fellow will have new living quarters.
What has really become a problem are the bigger, grey squirrels. They're too big for the trap I have, and so now I have to do with chasing them (or letting Kane, our dog, chase them), and they do take off when I go outside, and seem to stay away for several hours.
I tried just setting aside food for the squirrels, but that didn't work too well. It attracted more of them, and they were going through a tremendous amount of food. It made the problem worse, regardless of where I put the food for them. Guess I'm going to have to get a bigger trap.
In the summertime I have problems with raccoons raiding the feeder. Last year I just brought the feeders in during the night, and that seemed to deter them. I'm pretty sure there was a bear getting into some of the feeders, as I would find the squirrel baffles pushed down to ground level.
Now THAT would be a big trap.
Music in my head