Saturday, June 26, 2010


This afternoon I turned up the fattest curl grub I've ever seen. Grubs are an unlikely source of garden entertainment, but let me tell you they never fail to disappoint. And as far as lawns go, ours is a gold mine.
Now you may be thinking this had something to do with waggling said grub in the wife's face while making comical noises of repulsion. Yes, that's fun too. But today, I felt like a bit of bloodsport. 
Open the gates! Release the lions!

Its easy to understand the immediate attraction such a tasty nugget would have on such ferocious birds of prey. Sure, not seconds earlier they were pecking at their own excrement, but let that only be proof they know a better hunt when they see one.
Fierce competitors, they jostle for position. 
Wings folded. Ready to dive.

And certainly such a delicious morsel is far too good to share. When your opponent is too fast, one must learn to quickly change tactics. The cunning thief sneaks in for a surprise attack.

But is far too fat for grace and speed.

Let that be a timely lesson to chickens who eat far too much and lay to few eggs.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

If you can't beat them...

It's oft said that if you can't beat them, join them. That's always sounded like loser talk to me, and besides - I am much more stubborn that your average loser. But for the first time in my life, I found a middle ground where I could comfortably test the old adage without having to throw up the white flag and somehow transform myself into a slime-covered mollusc.

So I went and got a beer.

Over the last week a steady number of slugs have been drinking themselves into oblivion, but unfortunately it would seem that problem drinking isn't as much of a problem as the newspapers have been making out, after all. Because when I awoke yesterday morning to find half of my beans and all of my broccoli missing again, I needed something to drown my sorrows. And yes, that only loosely prescribes to today's subject-under-the-microscope - but just so you can be sure, it hasn't yet gotten to the stage where I need to drown myself. And certainly not in VB.

So last night, having found my way to 11pm without the need of a bucket, I prepared for the drastic action you can only find floating in the dregs of a third or fourth bottle of beer. There was no ceremony - and only partially because I'm too practical for that, even after a couple. Any sane person who may have otherwise been around to witness the event was busy avoiding hypothermia underneath several blankets and a duvet. With only a torch, beer jacket and an empty jar of cocktail onions I stepped forward into the night to receive my cold slap of winter.

The unwanted southerly wind invading my yard had an immediate sobering effect that rendered the beer jacket totally useless. This would have to happen quickly, which, considering I was still wearing that useless beer jacket, wouldn't be easy. Up in the plot, I found a large dispersed collection of slugs traveling in completely random vectors with no common goal or direction. It vaguely reminded me of the last time I found myself paying attention to politics. Under the torch-light I hastily scooped all of them up and into the jar - which took only marginally longer than the time it did to run back into the house and close the door.

It left me wondering if it was all worth it for a patch of leafless broccoli stalks. But dammit! They were my leafless broccoli stalks I was defending. And I'm foolishly hoping that they've got at least one more attempt at foliage left in them. But I think I can say joining them only achieved a short-term result that won't be repeated often at this time of year. At least not if I get my act together, avoid alcoholism and order some more damn beer traps.