One of the blessings of our place here is that we have a pretty big backyard! Last year, we tilled a "little bit of earth" (name that book... Secret Garden anyone?...no? just me?) and planted watermelon, beans, tomatoes and peppers. It was pretty successful except for the beans due to some lovely little GROUNDHOGS that had taken up residence under our shed. We tried everything to keep them out, but to no avail.
So, we thought that we'd out fox them this year and put gravel around our shed to keep them out and we filled in the holes. We trapped one last year and thought it was the end of our garden plants being decapitated. We expanded the garden this year and planted our corn, beans, squash, melons, tomatoes, peppers and I threw in some herbs and sunflowers out there for good measure. We rejoiced at the prospects of so much produce that would grace our table in July and August.
And then the squirrels came.
Like mini lumberjacks, they chopped down our corn plants, stripped the leaves off the beans and excavated the sunflower seeds. We could only desperately watch or go out like crazy people and chase them off. How do you beat a squirrel? They can climb anything and when you chase them, they just run up trees and yell at you from their safe posts. The situation was dire. Who could save us?
And then my dad came to visit. And bought David a BB gun. He gave him some pointers, like shoot towards the ground, use the scope and shoot with pellets for the kill. We practiced outside on soda bottles. And then we waited.
The next week, David, in full dental scrubs, made his first kill. We were so excited! Take that squirrels! After that, the squirrels left the garden pretty much alone and we thought we won the war. But we were wrong... oh how we were wrong.