I may chat about my books, what I'm writing or reading, or just general thoughts. You may read posts about my cats or just my crazy life in general. Comments are welcome, if anyone wants to interact with me. Maybe we can share war stories, whether it's writing related or just about life in general.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sometimes you have to be resourceful

This is very true in many things, but today I’m going to talk about how it’s saving my plants. I had to put on my thinking cap and come up with something that would keep the chipmunks out of the ones they seem to be craving right now. They usually eat the flowers right off of my potted plants as soon as they appear. I think the bright colors attract them. That hasn’t been the usual problem yet, after I moved the lobelia to the courtyard. They don’t go there as much as they hang out on the back patio, probably because it’s in the shade by noon.

This is what the Sego Palms should look like
Sunni's Photo's

My poor Sego palm trees have had it after the terrible winter we had. They lost all of their fronds this year despite me covering them up, as I do every winter. I have been coaxing them along since chopping all the dead fronds off and finally they are rewarding me with a few shoots to show me they’re still alive. Of course, I had not given up on them yet.

Chipmunks - These critters are the problem
Sunni's Photo's

Now the problem is the dozens of chipmunks in our backyard. They are ravenous and decided they like the tender new shoots, so I had to come up with a plan to give the plants a fighting chance. Mind you, there is plenty to eat out in the desert this time of year, but they prefer the oasis of my backyard instead. I keep numerous pans of water out there, as well as throw birdseed and peanuts out. The only way to keep them off my plants is to cover them with makeshift gadgets that I put together.
I had a cover that I made for the top of a dove nest when we lived in CA and a pair decided to nest in one of our hanging pots. The crows would hang about wanting to get at the eggs, so I took hardware cloth from Home Depot and cut it into three triangles to make a cone that I could place on the nest to keep them at bay. I cut three doors big enough so the parents could come and go and that worked out beautifully. It was worth scraping my arms up wiring the thing together. The crows never bothered it after that, although they could have easily gotten into it via the doors too. I guess they didn’t want to go to that much trouble and wanted easier pickings. Two eggs hatched. It was a joy to watch this marvelous sight of the little ones growing up and eventually leaving the nest.

Big Mama Palm with Chipmunk Proof Cover
Sunni's Photo's

When we moved here, I decided to keep this apparatus not knowing if it would come in handy. Now I’m glad I did because I am using it to place over “Big Mama” palm to keep her new sprouts safe. The problem here is that I needed another one because I have one more palm that hasn’t sprouted yet, although I suspect it’s getting ready to because the chipmunks have been working it over. Naturally, we don’t have near the amount of stuff accumulated as we did in CA when I could go out to the scrap pile, if I needed something for a project. This was my dilemma yesterday after I got tired of chasing the little critters off those plants.

This palm has the new cover on it from nursery flats.
Sunni's Photo's

I finally decided the only thing I had, short of going to the hardware store, was some plant flats from the nursery. I decided to cut the bottoms out of these and use them for my project, so I went to pick the best ones that would work from the pile of stuff that we have on the side of the house. This turned into a two-hour venture because that plastic was heaver than I thought and I had to use a pair of scissors to cut it with because I didn’t have anything else. Once I cut the pieces, I took some twine and laced them together in a cone shape. Then I installed it on the plant. Voila! It fit nicely so I was excited and anxious to see what the little critters would do today when they discovered that the plant was no longer free pickings. By this time, it was getting rather late and most of them vanished into their burrows earlier.

Notice the growth in the center on Big Mama palm
Sunni's Photo's

After I watered the plants, I came inside to eat something because I hadn’t eaten all day. No wonder I was starving. It was almost nine PM. This week is my week of “batching it” with my husband in OR, so I keep my own schedule, which is really no schedule. I love it because I hate the rigidity of watching the clock all the time, but that is for another post.

I know they aren’t very glamorous, but what do you think of my creations?

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