Sunday, 27 November 2011
The Latin name for this years main garden pest.
It's the blackbird. Last year we had one and it ate every last raspberry, seemingly on it's own. We killed it. It took several weeks with a small mesh box propped up on a stick with a string trailing through the shed window before I was able to pull it in time and catch the wee bugger. It felt terrible to kill him. He was just doing his thing. Not his fault that some dick-(ybird) decided he missed the sound of a blackbird in his English garden and voluntarily introduced them, all for the sound of it's cheerful note a couple of hundred years ago.
This year the garden is full of the sound of 'tok, tok.'
No doubt counting down their last seconds as we work out ways to stop their clocks - permanently. Gone were the cherries of last year, the strawberries too. This year forewarned is fore-armed. Though arming oneself against a sea of troublesome birds is illegal. It's not the culling of birds that's an issue but the owning of a firearm without appropriate cause and license. We don't live on the prerequisite number of acres and while there have been times I would gladly have bought a slug gun (and shot slugs with it too) it's simply not going to happen.
Instead we invested in six posts, heavy duty wire, star pickets, 100 metres of bird netting and a whole day digging holes, sewing netting and generally getting sun burnt. The raspberry cage looks great. It creates a kind of outdoor indoors that excludes birds of all sorts, hopefully any probing possums and the odd opportunistic Caleb-has-left-the-gate-open-again-Goat. It's been an expensive exercise. Onto strawberry saving measures next week.
Oh, the linocut was inspired by my garden 'friends'. I decided to have a go at lino-cutting and had thought to be inspired by native Tasmanian flora and fauna. Yet somehow this dark feathered, yellow beaked fiend eventuated. Insidious beast.
Who or what would you like to permanently eradicate from your garden?