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Location: Jefferson City, Tennessee, United States

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Monday, June 20, 2005

It Wasn't Hubby's Fault

Usually when garden-variety mistakes are made around here, it is hubby who makes them. The other day I looked down at the ground and found a limp pansy plant in the middle of the yard, having been pulled up roots and all. Pansies, of course, a my favorite flowers and blue ones are sacred to me. I chastised my husband for the occurrence, but not severely.

Later, I found the leaves had been stripped from my dear hibiscus...and then, to my horror, I spotted the true culprit -- a groundhog, in fact two! Marmota monax to be correct. I immediately instructed hubby to check them for pansy-breath!

They are making a feast of my garden -- cosmos, larkspurs, hollyhocks, basil both green and purple! They think we are a market! What to do, what to do!!!

I am a peace-loving non-violent type -- but they've got to go. I know that when the man who mows, rakes and bales our hay entered the hayfield, he scared them, but as soon as he removes the hay, they won't be disturbed until fall. They can go into their holes by the cedar tree and live the good life -- so long as they stay out of my garden.

An oldtime option would be to pour lye down the holes and they would die when they licked the lye off their little clawed feet. Ewwww! We can't bear the thought of that! The Animal Control people might come and trap and relocate them. They were not effective in trapping a stray dog who adopted us last year. So that's out.

Now, we have a neighbor who is of Native American lineage. He likes groundhogs, properly seasoned, cooked and accompanied by vegetables. This brings up the option of copying down his recipe for groundhog stew and posting it at groundhog eye-level.

I'm afraid that might take too long to act. They may have gone through my dill, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme by then. My foxglove, monarda, geraniums and delphinium are in peril.

There is another neighbor who is a crack shot...we shall see!


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