Last year I ranted on about the deer - how they either ate everything in bloom, stripped plants and shrubs before they could bloom, or otherwise trampled things down as they went after things just out of reach. I will never have anything nice to say about deer unless it's whether to serve them with red wine or a nice rose! Even now, as winter crawls by, they roam every night, gnawing down my yews, etc.
I was glad of one thing - deer can't climb trees. Tall stuff was safe.
Now another species has made it to my hit-list: squirrels. I've never, ever had a beef with squirrels, until this winter.
For the past 5 weeks I've watched from the windows as they systematically stripped my shrubs of bark and ate next year's tree blossom. It's not like it's 20 below and deep snow. No. The winter is mild. The ground is friable. The buried nuts are everywhere. But I've never seen them dig them up. Instead ....
The top: more than half of all magnolia buds have been eaten by squirrels.
The middle: there are only one or two flower buds left on the entire dogwood tree.
The bottom: I hold out no hope for the mock orange shrubs. Most of the mature limbs have been stripped of all bark - which will kill the plant.
As I type they are now in the magnolia. Sure. There's not much left anywhere else for them to destroy.
Yep, things are going to get a little more hard-line around here. Relatives living in Louisiana don't have this particular problem, though. But then, they enjoy squirrel stew - a lot. (Note to self - email cousin for recipe.)
Just remember, they started it. :-(