The Garden Chronicles ~ June 9, 2010

Our stories today focus on wildlife in the garden, a favourite topic of mine (Not!). You animal lovers might as well change the channel right now! Last week, I gloried in the first appearance of a delicate Queen Alexander poppy. Its salmon pink bloom waved at me shyly, poking up at just the perfect height behind the phlox. Precisely according to plan. I was ecstatic with the success of my garden design. 

Meanwhile, I’ve been busy tilling and planting in my west bed. It finally dawned on me this morning that I haven’t seen any more poppies! There should be a nice cluster of paper-thin white and salmon heads nodding in the breeze. So, on my walkabout this morning (yes, I do walkabouts… and your hysterical snorts are not very becoming!), I was perturbed to discover a gruesome scene. Half a dozen poppies in bloom, lying forlorn and trampled on the ground. That lazy, fat, rascally, trespassing rabbit has been reclining in the very center of the plants. The splatted stems and leaves told the whole story.  Where’s Elmer Fudd when you need him?

Commercial Break: Critter Ridder does not work.

Our next segment contains some graphic scenes. Reader discretion is advised. On Saturday, Mark cleaned out the lawnmower and changed the blade. He left a sticky matted mess in the backyard. I was pouty, but he sprayed the muddy clippings with a hose and assured me that the next rainfall would clean it up entirely.  The next day, on one of my many window checks (yes, I meander over the window occasionally to look at the garden… and your hysterical hooting is equally unbecoming!), I noticed a blue jay voraciously ripping at a damp green clump. I observed his ravenous behaviour with interest. I called to Mark, who was watching golf on TV, and said, “I think there must be some sunflower seeds stuck in the grass clippings. There’s a psycho blue jay out here going nuts!” I thought I saw a red impatiens petal in the grass clippings, and wondered how it got there. A few minutes, later, when I wandered by the window again, the blue jay was still determinedly pecking and gorging, and the red impatiens blossom had suddenly grown. It slowly dawned on me that the red spot wasn’t a flower. It was blood! The blue jay was cannibalizing a baby bird! I saw a tiny wing tip before I turned away in absolute revulsion. Mark, my DeCon (decontamination) hero, had to go and clean up the crime scene. He reported that he found a small nest under the maple tree. The victim was a baby robin. Who knew blue jays were carnivorous? Last night, when I cut the grass, there was nothing left to indicate the grisly event, but I almost gagged as I mowed over the spot where the ugly incident occurred.

Commercial Break: The roasted BBQ chickens available from Wyoming Foodland on Monday nights are delicious. Pulling one apart to prepare it for sandwiches tends to trigger revolting memories. I had a hotdog instead.

Stay tuned for happier stories and more girly gardening features. Upcoming: Fashionista Gardener…

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