Thursday, June 5, 2014

Return of the Native

Almost ten years ago, the viburnum leaf beetle arrived in our orchard and ran through the highbush cranberry (Viburnum opulum var. americanum) like forest fire. For years we saw scarcely a leaf of it anywhere. But last year or the one before, little short bushes began to appear in our brush islands, and now look! The cranberries are flowering again! Planting for wildlife is one of my guiding principals in developing our place, so I am overjoyed.

In other red news, we learned this week that the chicken and duck flock on the next hill to the north was wiped out in its entirety by a bobcat, who was caught red-mustached on the neighbor’s gamecam. I suspect this is the individual who killed Enterprise.

And the latest tooth-and-claw update—the ducks went way too far from the house and were attacked in broad daylight by a very large raccoon, who was then killed on the road that night, no doubt leaving behind a litter of orphans. Brutish, nasty and short—an excellent summation. The ducks are confined to quarters, where they are nursing neck wounds and testing the new fencing for weaknesses.


  1. Good news on the Viburnum. Do you think the small bushes are seedlings or coming up from the old roots?

    Good news for some.... not all.

  2. Love the last sentence.
    I spent the morning grinding Riggs' nails down with a dremel tool, pleading with him to stop kicking me in the belly, and enduring him screaming like a drag queen whose wig just got snatched off.

    1. An apt but disturbing image. Why do all dogs think that having your nails done is like having your toes cut off one by one, except it can happen four times a year forever?

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  4. Congratulations about the viburnum . . . and poor ducks! I never thought about raccoons attacking poultry/fowl.