Dateline: Cattaraugus County, western New York state.
Long-time readers will know that our rural western New York idyll is rich in wildlife, not all of it welcome and much of it duplicitous. What could be sweeter than a deer sticking its hungry little face over the woodpile in winter, hoovering up the seeds from the bird feeder? (A fond memory of the days we were actually here in the winter.)
And how do they reward us? By making off with all the new buds and shoots in the garden - that's how. This year's tally already includes 1 rhododendron and two mountain laurels (stripped) and a whole clump of my favourite garden phlox (decapitated).
And as for our Chip dynasty (of which there seems to be only one member at the moment) - they have a whole dramatic repertoire of innocence, charm and conviviality.
Which makes slipping them the odd peanut very hard to resist.
And how do they reward us? By scoffing our tomatoes and blueberries, not to mention the wild strawberries and digging tunnels in the flower beds so the back garden is starting to resemble a Swiss cheese. Well what do we expect? They are not stupid.
Meanwhile a few days ago an interesting new visitor appeared. I saw something on the dead leaves and at first couldn't work out what it was.
Until I managed to hobble closer. Ah yes, not a coiled-up rattlesnake but an American toad, Bufo Americanus no less. About the size of one of those giant French coffee cups.
I tried to get him/her from another angle and I could just imagine the sentiments, "OK you got my good side, now buzz off!"
Now I've just looked them up - and you know what these chaps like to eat? Slugs! They eat SLUGS! Whoopee! Come along, bring your friends! Stay as long as you like! Perhaps we're finally onto a winner.
Post a Comment