Wednesday, 4 January 2012

The Good Life?

This time of year is not a time to be declaring war, but I'm breaking with
A little visitor to my garden.
tradition. Let it be known that I'm officially at war with some cunning rats and outwardly cute, 
but very destructive, possums. No Christmas spirit is lingering in my soul when it comes to these destructive creatures.
Courtesy of SGA Australia
Rats are thwarting my efforts to live a greener lifestyle - the good life in the suburbs. My first harvest of pumpkins, nurtured through "fair weather and foul' were all found to be hollow when harvested - neatly eaten away with just enough flesh left on the pumpkin skins to maintain their shape and keep me blissfully ignorant of the rodent activities within ....... until I picked my bounty!  Currently the Lebanese cucumbers have teeth marks - rather big teeth marks - left in their remaining flesh, as do my zucchinis. Daily, half-eaten tomatoes appear on my lovingly tendered tomato bushes - I have yet to taste one of my home grown tomatoes this season. Score: rats, 4; city gardener, 0. 

Courtesy of http://sudoku.com.au
The lemon trees is another battlefront where the war is not proceeding in my favour. Here my enemy is  a battalion of ring-tailed possums, which devour the rind and pith of the ripening lemons, leaving the perfectly intact lemon flesh swing from the branches or scattered on the ground. Possum battalion 2 are stripping my climbing roses that once adorned the walls of the house whilst the third battalion are decimating the 50 year old camellias. Not to be outdone by the appealing looking ring-tails, the bushy tailed possums gallop over our roof top, dislodging tiles and mortar. Occasionally there is a possum war overhead, with blood curdling screams that would fuel nightmares. 

Possums have been protected in the very unnatural metropolitan landscape for many years. Catching them is illegal and they refuse to be deterred by any of the chemical weapons my well researched arsenal - cloves of garlic, camphor, quassia chips, naphthalene,  mosquito coils, blood and bone fertilizer and POSS-OFF (a natural Possum deterrent). 

Bushy tailed possum Courtesy of SGA Australia 
As a last resort an expensive, battery driven possum deterrent was recently purchased - a Christmas present to myself. However, instead of being frightened off by the strobe lights and high pitched noise of this electrical gadget, these furry blighters appear to be partying in its flashing lights, snubbing there little pink noses at me. I am ashamed to admit that once, in utter desperation, I attempted combat with a jousting stick, only to be sprayed from above, with my enemy's foul smelling urine. Score: Possums 7; me 0
Being outsmarted by such tiny creatures is battering my self-esteem, the garden is being ruined and the vegetable plot is looking very, very sad; but, I'm not willing to admit defeat and fly the white flag ...... yet!

18 comments:

Ann said...

OMG! I'd be in a state of depression by now! Do you really think they are rats? Gulp!

DO you have a cat? Dog? I wish I could help you out, but I don't have experience with either.

P.S. You write well...

Mouse said...

hmm, so long as no mice are harmed...

Franka said...

This story is so funny to read, BUT I think is very annoying to have such cute looking animals in the garden!!!

♥ Franka

Lost in Provence said...

Hmmm...methinks that you fight in vain brave damsel!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Horrors! I think that a cat and dog might enjoy some 'possum stew!

Wishing you a joyous and (garden-prosperous, rat and possum-free) happy new year!

Bises,
Genie

LaPouyette said...

I'm with Franka, to say it shortly.

These creatures have their own mind, could tell you some stories, maybe in summer?

My advise for now: Stay cool!

By the way - I just awarded you "The Blog on Fire" award on my latest post. Hope that you like it and hope that many more visitors will come along your blog to enjoy your, always interesting, posts!

Amicalement,
karin

sharon said...

Oh dear! Rats and possums?! As if life weren't complicated enough already ... Sharon

Fay said...

Congratulations on your blog award and SO sorry to hear of your frustrations with our little furry friends HOW VERY NAUGHTY they are !!I love the inner peace DOG !! see you again
Greetingsfrom Florence
fay x

Elizabeth Eiffel said...

Thank you for your comments, sympathy and advice. I had visions of picking an endless supply of produce by now - I've planted enough seedling to ensure this! Dogs and cats are not allowed to be outside at night in our suburb!

Carla said...

Sorry Elizabeth no advice from this city chick.........all sounds extremely hard work not to mention soul destroying not being able to pick the fruits of your labour!!
Keep up the morale and don't let the rodents out smart you
Carla x

martinealison said...

Ma pauvre ! je ne pourrais pas supporter une telle dévastation...
Moi qui adore les animaux, j'ai une peur terrible des souris, des rats et tout ce qui peut ressembler à ces petites bêtes...
J'espère que vous trouverez une solution radicale à vos problèmes...
gros bisous à vous et courage!

Karena said...

Darn those rodents eating so healthily on your lemons, pumpkins, tomatoes!!

There must be some other solutions (I hope)

xoxo
Karena

Art by Karena

classic • casual • home said...

Eeeeck. Good luck!!!

Jo Farmer said...

OM goodness, terrible little critters... If you have the space, I would invest in a greenhouse because it sounds like you're not going to have much luck in the outdoors. Isn't there some sort of animal control in your area; someone to come out and capture these possums and take them out into the countryside, etc??? Good luck and keep us posted.

Jo x
Eliza Interiors & Design

Elizabeth Eiffel said...

Thanks Jo - great to hear from you again. It is illegal to remove them unless they are in the house! In South Australia the laws are different and they can be removed. It has become ridiculous - the possum population is so large that they can be seen running along the pavement as well as along electrical wires and in the garden!

Ann said...

Ha, Elizabeth! I had seen that you had been awarded the Blog on Fire award and I, too, was bummed because I was going to pass it to you!

Any baby produce survive yet?

Elizabeth Eiffel said...

Snap Ann - I will compliment both of us and say "great minds think alike"! No tomatoes, but a few zucchini and a cucumber have been picked - yeh!

Young at Heart said...

blimmey you're at war!! Good luck.....