Today's Garden Carnage

The title is a half-hearted humorous attempt to see if Todd’s blog hit strategy works–folks with prurient interests finding me through Google searches.  Sadly (um, I guess), I don’t have any pictures this time–unlike when the dog dragged the dead ‘possum out of the barn (that’s one of my top posts of all time, weirdly enough).

But there was carnage in the garden this afternoon–a rabbit had very recently made a nest in the side of my compost pile, and as I was piling on the bolted arugula pulled out of what is now a hot pepper patch, I found six dead baby bunnies–four scattered in the grass and two still in their shallow burrow–all with chest and neck bites.

Not sure what creature might’ve killed all these young ones without consuming them–they were certainly small enough for one of the big garter snakes to tackle, but snakes eat what they kill.  I also haven’t seen any feral cats in the gardens this year (probably why the mother rabbit thought it safe to nest where she did).

Cats will kill, but not eat–so will members of the weasel family–though I haven’t seen a weasel around the garden.  There are raccoons around (young ones climbing around in the barn this spring), and there are also other rabbits–I’ve seen a couple young jacks this spring–something I’ve not seen here before. Will other rabbits kill each other’s young?

Well, it’s a mystery to me, but I forked the tiny young ones onto the pile along with the bolted arugula and turned the compost again–working them back into the cycle of growth and decay that is the garden process.

I was a little ginger about turning the bottom layers of the pile–thinking perhaps what killed the bunnies might still be lurking there, but there was nothing but millipedes and sow bugs, worms and spiders.  And BTW–that compost is looking fine–lots of big chunky matter in there still, but it may be time to screen and spread the brown gold where the spring crops are coming out and summer crops are going in.

Overall I’m not too saddened by these events–it’s not exactly beneficial to my purposes to have a bunch more rabbits right in the garden space, but I would be interested to know what did them in.


4 responses

  1. I would like to find a legal way to do in the squirrels that keep killing the plants on my patio. It would help if some of my neighbors didn’t keep feeding the critters to attract them. I don’t even mind the wild turkey that visits this apartment complex every now and then, as badly as I had the squirrels. This is in Sioux Falls.

    • Air pistol? I would not poison them–I hate poison, as it’s dangerous and indiscriminate and cruel. It might help to spray your plants with hot pepper wax. Or take on a Burmese python as a pet…or just a squirrel-eating cat. But if your neighbors feed squirrels, they’ll just keep coming. I vote for the python. If it gets big enough, it might eat the neighbors who are feeding the squirrels, too!

  2. I like your idea about a python eating the appropriate A couple years ago I had a neighbor guy that was standing in his patio door shooting at the squirrels with a pellet gun. The only problem was he hit a couple windows in a neighboring building, and we had a neighbor that was with Game, Fish, and Parks that saw him shooting the gun, so the Game Warden radioed the city police and they ended up confiscating the gun, and issueing a ticket for something, I can’t remember what. I do have some hot pepper spray, that I haven’t tried yet, because the directions say to not use it if rain is predicted in the next 24 hours, and since I got the spray, we haven’t had a really sunny day or a day that looked like it wasn’t going rain. Late this afternoon, I noticed the turkey on my patio. Who would think near the busiest intersection in the state, that we would have all this wild life.

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