How to Bond with Your Pond
In the quiet morning mist that lingers on our farm pond, it’s not unusual to see a Blue Heron at the water’s edge. Last weekend, I tried to photograph one with her baby. I knew if I opened my kitchen door, she’d fly away, so I pressed my camera against the glass. When I finally eased onto the porch, she lumbered off into the sky. I got a photo of the fledgling just before it heeded mama’s call and flew away to join her in the nearby woods.
Later in the day, visiting youngsters also found the pond an attraction.
“Dear Me, the Deer Have Eaten My Garden”
After the sun goes down, and we snuggle up with goose down pillows indoors, dozens of deer camp in our front yard like hippies gathering for a Woodstock musical. They apparently spend the night near the pond and snack on my garden. So far this season they’ve helped themselves to my tomatoes and leveled the lettuce. They also did a number on my hostis plants. But the green onions and weeds remain unscathed.
I told my friend Robert how annoyed I was at Bambi and her brood for their unwillingness to be good neighbors. He immediately came to the rescue with a suggestion.
“Get some Red Fox urine and sprinkle it around the plants. It works every time,” he said.
“How does one go about collecting such a specimen should I come upon a Red Fox?” I asked.
Robert assured me, that there are those who do this for a living and I would find a ready supply at garden shops. I checked. Sure enough, Home Depot sells Predator Pee: 2 cups for $19.95. Ace Hardware has the territorial repellent in granule form and Overstock.com offers Shake Away Coyote Urine at the bargain price of $35 for five pounds.
Advocates say the organic product deters intruders, such as deer, rabbits, skunks, ground hogs, squirrels, chipmunks and small rodents. On the downside, the smell is strong enough to halt a herd of charging rhinos.
In the Meanwhile. . .
Friends and relatives, who are having better luck with their gardens, are making home deliveries of fresh produce. My friend Cyndy is growing my preferred pink tomato. My nephew in Marshfield wrote, asking how many jars of bread and butter pickles I wanted this year.
Robin and JC have a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes and Russ and Deb a backyard plot of zucchini—though I can’t get him to pick them small enough to suit me. Lisa and Tom are nursing their herb garden back to health after returning from vacation and I’m hoping for some homegrown greens from my grandson.
I look onward to next year. Gardeners have suggested other alternatives for keeping predators at bay, such as soap flakes and human hair. But I suspect the only sure and lasting solution is an 8-foot fence.