The accidental buffet

I think you all know about my frustrations with rabbits.  Yes, they are fuzzy and soft and adorable. . . and I hate them with all of my heart and soul.  Ok, maybe that’s a bit too strong.  They are cute and so soft—but they are SOOOO destructive!  And they always seem to know which plants I love the most, and kill those first.

They’ve completely stripped the bark off roses, burning bushes, and cotoneasters in our yard.  I’ve almost given up on Blue Butterfly Delphinium, my favorite flower in the world, because apparently they are quite the delicacy to rabbits.  We’ve resorted to surrounding our burning bushes in the front yard with chicken wire in the winter (which is SO attractive), because otherwise the rabbits just chew them right down to the ground.

We do have our methods of ridding our yard of rabbits, which involves a couple of live traps and I won’t go into the rest here.  ;)  But we typically, shall we say, “relocate” between 6 and 12 rabbits every summer.  (And don’t even get Trevor started on the striped gophers—they make holes in his lawn and are the bane of his existence.)

But squirrels. . . we’ve never had a problem with squirrels.  I don’t know why that is, and
I know a few people that feel the same way about squirrels that I do about rabbits (hi, Wilbur!), but we just haven’t had many squirrels.  Maybe it’s because our neighborhood is new-ish and there aren’t a lot of really big trees. . . ?  I don’t know—it seems like there are  plenty of trees around for possible squirrel domiciles.  But they’ve never been an issue for us.

Then, last summer, I brought my office Christmas cactus home to spend the summer in the shady portion of the yard with my other houseplants.  (I’ve found that they seem to do a lot better over the winter if they’ve had a summer out in the yard.)  I put it on the ground by our Adirondack two-seater.  And something started munching it.  I admit it, I just assumed it was a rabbit (or rabbits).  By the end of the summer it looked pretty pathetic, and over the winter, back at the office, it didn’t improve much.  So this past spring, I decided to bring it home again for the summer, but get it up off the ground, away from the nibbling bunnies.

Here is the way it looks now (as of last night):

Christmas cactus (the "buffet")

It’s got to be squirrels, because, as nefarious as the rabbits are, I’ve never seen them actually climbing up on the furniture.  And I know we do have a squirrel or two, because I see them eating under the bird feeders once in a while.

I did notice that the one branch left on my Christmas cactus does actually seem to have a flower bud. . . I think that’s pretty hilarious.

But apparently next summer there will be another species of varmint to “relocate”.  Let the games begin!  :)

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9 Responses to The accidental buffet

  1. Sheri says:

    Everyone has their favorite – we hate CHIPMUNKS because they dig holes everywhere!!!

  2. Avatar of Sandi Sandi says:

    Yeah, isn’t it funny? And we’ve never even seen a chipmunk in our yard. And for some people it’s deer–I’m glad at least we don’t get those! :)

  3. Avatar of TX King TX King says:

    my neighbors have issues with rabbits, but for some reason they skip my place. Been told it’s because I have dogs and the markings ward them off… so maybe get a dog or borrow one? I bet anyone would let you walk their dog to pee in your yard ;o)

  4. Dano says:

    I know you pain, BUT, it’s illegal to relocate wild animals in Minnesota.

    Many years (30) living in MPLS trapping and relocating squirrels and raccoons to regional parks. One day I was approached by a registered trapper, no help ever by animal control, and informed me my relocation was against the law.

    Bunch of BS if you ask me. Conversation went on. Guess where he was releasing racoons and squirrels from MPLS??? Just South of the Trap Range (south of I94) at Alex. Same racoons would come up the Soo Line tracks into my Dads yard and we would have to trap them again. Best just to shoot them or bag the trap and bag it. Take your hose from your shop vac and hook it up to car exhaust. Job done save for putting the remains away.

    Love wildlife but 3 dozen squirrels and 20 racoons a year, walking distance to downtown MPLS and the U of Mn, just too much trash for pickings for them and fresh gardens. Gave up on tulips after planting 400 plus.

    Relocating is not a solution, they will find their way back or to another.

    Dano

    • Avatar of Sandi Sandi says:

      Yeah, we don’t actually “relocate” them. That was just my euphamism for how we really get rid of them, to avoid going into the details. ;) But thanks for the info! I know just what you mean!

  5. Wilbur says:

    Just load the live trap with peanut butter, along with whatever else you use for the rabbits.

    I’ve relocated about 50 squirrels already this year, and I still have one eating tomatoes off the vine – daily. The neighbors do report that the relocation is being effective. Less squirrels equals more tomatoes.

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