September 19, 2021

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Pamplin Media Group – Rural Reflections: Lions and tigers and bears, oh my

3 min read

Pamela Loxley Drake reflects on the pests and predators of her previous, and people that now plague her chicken feeders.


Okay, let’s get this straight. I am not genuinely speaking lions and tigers and bears, whilst I feel like I could possibly as properly have them in my yard.

Cats and squirrels and blue jays, oh my.

My fowl feeders are continuously beneath attack even however I am perfectly-armed with the squirrel spoiler on the feeder write-up, the squirrel pepper-powder scattered all over the submit, the flower pots on the deck railing and the “squirrel-evidence” hen feeders. Still none of these discourage previously fat squirrels and those people cats whose entrepreneurs overlook that they are living in town where cats are not free-roamers.

I can do almost nothing with the blue jays but scream at them on situation, which, by the way, does not impact them in the minimum. Sassy birds.

We had pests on the farm. I under no circumstances saw rats, but my sister swears we experienced them. I know we experienced mice. Rodent-proofing was impossible in an previous two-tale log residence surrounded by corn mice infiltrate no make a difference what.

Of program, the barn was household to mice and birds. Father would often chase absent or cart off barn owls who tried using to reside in the darkish recesses of the barn. They constantly arrived back.

At times, we were frequented by more substantial creatures. The moment when I was hunting for the most current batch of kittens, I started off to access into a barrel from whence (my British roots) hissing emitted. I pulled back a piece of burlap to discover a possum hissing at me. The scream listened to around the entire world.

A raccoon would mosey all-around the chicken residence, hankering for an egg or two. Groundhogs would lumber together the creek, resembling compact bears. When in a although a skunk, who obviously experienced been conversing with the raccoon, would consider to obtain breakfast in the hen house as nicely. Hawks soared overhead, seeking for a thing smaller to have absent. And, a few of moments I had even seen a fox, in all probability hoping to bypass the eggs and go straight for the chickens.

My predators are benign in comparison, however I assert these birds at the feeders as mine. The cat has a home where by food items is furnished. Anyone is feeding the squirrel corn and peanuts. (I know mainly because I uncover them buried in my yard.) So why are not able to they depart my chook feeders on your own?

Some days, I am tempted to add a squirrel and a cat to my garden, but refrain from violence. I could do what Dad applied to do and sit with a shot gun, waiting around for a varmint to clearly show up, but I really don’t feel in guns. Or perhaps trap the critters and make very little fur jackets for hairless canines.

It is a quandary how woman and beast need to are living with each other. I am attaining persistence from this standoff, as very well as sprinting and leaping prowess in my attempts to foil fowl-devouring efforts.

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my. In which the heck are my ruby slippers?

Pamela Loxley Drake is a Beaverton resident and self-described lifelong “farm lady.”


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