Ahh, good old Groundhog Day. If you know me well, you know I have a serious groundhog problem.
Or lately a problem with one groundhog in particular. The one that lives in my small city garden. I don’t know the square footage of my garden, but if I placed three basketball players end to end, they’d reach my back fence. Two of those dudes would cover the width. Basically it’s the size of a wealthy person’s smallest closet, the closet for their mice.
Which means when my groundhog attacks, she doesn’t have far to go to crunch and munch. But my old gal is a wily creature. She’s lived in my yard for so long I should name her, well, I have called her quite a few choice names, but nothing solid.
If she arrives to taunt me this year, I might name her Katy Perry just for the fun of yelling, “Katy Perry, get out of my yard!” Katy Perry also annoys me so it’s a fair deal.
How do I know my latest groundhog is a she? Her sheer tenacity. You see, I have a humane Hav-a-hart trap. I catch the critters and transport them miles away. Two years ago I might have caught Katy Perry’s ex-husband. Russell Brand sorta looks like a groundhog, eh? I have tried to catch my stubborn pit dweller but no lie, she’s lasted for going on three years. I recognize her graying pelt. She loves to stand on the dirt mound she’s created and stare at me in sheer triple dog dare insolence. She’s an old queen holding down her fort. I mean nothing to her.
In years past I have dumped the contents of my rabbit’s litter boxes in the huge, three foot wide pit she’s crafted. That trick kept her away for two weeks. I have tried fox urine and five other kinds of repellents. One petulant fit drove me to throw the empty repellent bottles into the hole. The next day she had tossed them out in a fine “screw you” manner. The old gal owns brash style.
In 2011, as the spring and summer seasons toddled along, I baited the trap with carrot, apple, cucumber, cherries, strawberries, cantaloupe, pear, kale, Boston lettuce, crackers, nuts, banana, orange, fresh herbs, daisies, other flowers, various combinations of the previous treats, various combinations of the previous treats smeared with peanut butter, and finally, what the hell, Canadian bacon. I stopped short of cooking eggs for her.
Nothing worked. The trap caught stupid squirrels and a few possums. I let them go.
Her refusal baffled me. In late August I tried to compromise by putting out things she might like, like lettuce cores, beet greens, little treats to appease her appetite and keep her away from my precious dahlias. Boom, when early autumn arrived and my garden thrived, she knocked over dahlias, ate any surviving zinnias, and savaged the daisies.
Now on Groundhog Day 2012, I wonder if Katy plans to return to terrorize me.
Maybe this year I will cook eggs for her. Above all I'll never hurt her. I respect her too much.
Wait. I never tried raw eggs. Hmmm.