Saturday, June 07, 2008

Living with wildlife

I just read an article in the NY Times that severely raised my blood pressure. It was about people from the city moving to the country starting a garden, and finding themselves competing with the wildlife. One women was terrified of snakes, even harmless ones, and bought a '22 rifle to shoot them. Another woman traps squirrels and drowns them. Another kills woodchucks and rabbits. All I could think, as I read the article, was 'Why the Hell didn't they stay in the city and buy their produce from the farmers' market???'
In my opinion, people that can't adapt to the country shouldn't kill everything that scares them, they should move back to the city. Leave the country and its critters to the country folk. We can deal with them. I have a garden and cherry trees, berry bushes, and grow flowers and vegetables. But I know the creatures that live with me on my property, and what they like to eat, so I don't plant salad and carrots (rabbits love them) nor do I bother with sunflowers. I can buy them at the local 'pick your own' farm. I grow zuchinni and tomatoes (rabbits won't touch them) stringbeans, leeks, peas, corn and lots and lots of nasturtiums to keep the insects off the veggies.
I let the hedgehogs creep in the garden - they eat slugs and snails, and I keep the birds out of my cherry tree with tin foil ribbons ried to the lower branches, and anyway, I can't eat all the cherries myself. The birds are welcome to the uppermost branches.
I wouldn't dream of shooting snakes, they kill mice and insects, and if I did kill the rabbits they'd end up in my stewpot. We don't have squirrels here, except in the autumn when they come for the walnuts. And there again, we have so many walnuts it doesn't matter. There was one woman who said she killed bees because they bothered her. You don't want to know what horrible fate I wished upon her.
I spoke to the farmers around here about the deer and wild boar. They put up electric fences around their sensitive crops, and hail is more of a problem than deer.
So, for all you city folk looking for a second home in the country here is a word of advice. Find a house in town, or an apartment. Don't try to have a garden, or think about competing with the wild animals. Leave the country to the country folk.


Charles Gramlich said...

That is absolutely horrifying. I'm with you. Why move to the country if you're going to try and change it to the city? There's a place not far from where I live in the country where the people have virtually transported a city suburb lock stock and barrel. WTF?

And to kill those animals is so ridiculous. Like you, if I ever do kill anything it's going to end up being food. But then we know that there is an intricate net of living things and its often times humans disrupting that net that allows one type of animal to get out of control.

Frankly, these people need to be shot themselves.

Travis Erwin said...

Amen. I'm a hunter but the only time I shoot something, except for rattlesnakes and I have small kids, is to put in the freezer.

It's like thsoe who buy land near an airport, build a house and then start complaining about the noise.

Gabriele C. said...

There are people who kill squirrels? I so want to shoot them, it won't be a loss to society.

The only critters I kill are spiders (I've arachnophobia) and flies (I really don't want anything sitting on my bread that has sat on dog shit before), and only inside the house. And if I have to trap voles, I use life traps and release them into the wild some distance away from the house. They have a right to live, just not off the roots in my garden. ;)

Oopsy Daisy said...

Wow, that's just crazy! You are right, they should stay in the city if they can't adjust to country life without shooting up the wildlife. The wildlife was there long before they were.

Bernita said...

Makes my blood boil.

John Nez said...

Well I've never lived in the country... but I think I'd luv it.

My pet peeve is all these people who can't cut their grass without a gas powered internal combustion engine!

GADS!... the endless racket and clouds of noxious fumes... all to get one tiny yard trimmed. First it's the grass.. then the trimming of the edges... then blowing the grass off the sidewalk!

Some folks just don't have anything else to do it seems. I think I'm about the only yard on my block with a push mower.



debra said...

A farmer nearby once told me that folks who had built a McMansion near his farm complained to the police. The bulls were......serenading..... the cows who were in season. The farmer told the officer to tell the new people that if they want to come and "service" the cows, it would be fine with him!
We've had people complain that they run out of water when they water their new lawns--with water from their wells
We have a garden which is fenced to keep out the rabbits and the dogs. The blueberries are netted to keep the birds at bay. I also like to decorate my fences---I make trellises and embellish the fences as well.