Monday, April 11, 2011

Rodents, and other mixed blessings

They're so cute, really they are. I let the family of field mice stay in my compost wheel bin over the winter, because I felt badly they might get eaten by this (also very cute) stoat (short-tailed weasel, or Mustela erminea) 
image courtesy of Wikipedia
Still, spring has arrived, and I served the eviction notice, and they scampered out the door and ... straight into the pile of dreck I've been nursing along and pretending to compost. I guess I know what's next on the list of chores, don't I...

As I was clearing out the season's overgrowth and grass, (incredible how much grass, vines and other weedlife grow in the cold months) I got to know my emboldened neighbors, the meadow voles. Again, the only way to deal with them so far is to deny them harborage, so it's more trimming and clearing for me!
baby meadow vole; from Wikipedia

Still, there were plenty of birds around, and as much as I joke about the furry critters, it is part of the package when your garden plot is on conservation land. You get great soil, but you also have to be moderately friendly with the (furry, feathery or scaly) neighbors. Such is life; full of trade-offs! The birds at least are endlessly cheerful. I saw numerous kinds of swallows, song sparrows, redwinged blackbirds in the nearby marsh, and I think a meadowlark (checking on that one though... yay Sibley's) as well as the usual group of cardinals, blue jays, robins, and a few circling red tailed hawks.

Knowing what I'm up against this season, I've got my row cover ready, and I'm planning to hit the hardware store for some of the finer-grained chicken wire so as to cover the plants and exclude the perverse depradations of the woodchuck (one bite out of each and every vegetable, could they find a way to be more annoying?)

Now, I'm off to sort through my seed packets and decide how I'll distribute the remaining spring crops. I keep hoping I'll get some beets one of these years...

1 comment:

whirlston zhai said...

Oil Refining Machine
:) Glad to be here, thanks for share.