Friday, May 04, 2007

Waskally Wabbits

A banal divergence today. We have a relatively pest free garden, and work very hard to keep it that way. Moles are dispatched with immediate prejudice, deer are kept out by an eight foot wire fence hidden in the hedges, rats trapped and tipped into the bin the few times they make an appearance.

A few pests we welcome, a family of badgers for a while made regular night time visits to the compost heap. They were welcome and did no harm, indeed I think they helped churn up the compost admirably. However, they stopped coming, so the fence was mended. We have regular visits of foxes who are clever enough to get past the various pest security. They’re tolerated to as they help keep the rats and mice in check, and offer their own helping hand (or snout) with the compost (anything that helps me avoid the bi-annual turning of the compost is a good thing).

The one pest that causes the most grief are rabbits. We’re overrun with them our way. A number of neighbours don’t even put up a fight, and there are warrens all over the place. Cute they may be, but they can cause absolute havoc in a well stocked garden like ours. I like our garden, no… I love our garden. It is a place of great peace, relaxation and fun for me. Something I never expected as a youth, to be so loving and protective of a plant filled space.

So, our land has special wire netting dug in two feet into the ground. All our gates have a hard surface beneath them to also deter burrowing. All this is regularly patrolled and repaired. It should be impossible for them to get in.

Yet they do.

Every couple of years we’ve had intruders. We always try benign traps, but they never work, so usually a man, his gun and his dog are called in. Very efficient is Mick. This spring yet another pair managed to sneak their way in. So far they’ve done remarkably little damage, but they upped the anti when they nibbled my broad beans. Mick has been called, but can’t come for another week. So, we tried moving the traps, changing the tempting feed inside.

Yesterday, success! I got a call from Super Nanny to proudly say one had been trapped and she’d shipped it into the woods beyond the fence. When I got home I got the whole story, as well as a ruined trap from a slightly shame faced nanny. She’d never dealt with the trap before, so finding a way to open it when there is a hissing bouncing bunny inside the cage meant she had to break it.

I don’t mind in the least. One less rabbit, and the cage is repairable. It is now redeployed with another carrot. Fingers are crossed.


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