Honestly, there’s no point in being anything but resigned to reality. The painful truth is that critters like home-grown vegetables.
My garden had a good pest-free run. It had been ages since a possum raided my avocado tree or a bandicoot dug up my seedlings. Well, not ages maybe, but a week or 2 which I’ve learned to realise is an eternity is pest-free gardening. Then I went out and found this.
All this evidence materialised on the same morning. Was it a single perpetrator or did I have a pest party in my back yard? Where has it (they?) been while not destroying my crop?
Then, a couple of days after these photos were taken, I was doing my morning check of my veggies and I couldn’t find my watermelon. (Which is why I’m not including a watermelon photo here – I don’t have a watermelon to photograph!). My melon vines have grown like something out of Grimm’s Fairy Tales but produced very little fruit (I blame my bees who keep bypassing the melons for something tastier or healthier or more prolific or whatever). One watermelon split after a big rain and rotted but one was still there and growing (slowly). It had reached the size of a small melon – kind of like a balloon at a kid’s party – and was ripening nicely (or so I imagined). Then it was gone. It had to weigh a couple of kilos. What could have stolen it? Did it vanish in one night or did something return several nights in a row to eat bits at a time (I’ve definitely watched small squash and zucchini vanish that way). This one really has me stumped (and very very disappointed).
Whether all of this crop loss is the work of the possum, the bandicoot, a rat or marauding hordes of homeless vegans is immaterial, my plants are vanishing before my eyes and there’s not a darned thing I can do about it.
I do love my morning walks when I get to see what’s growing strong, what’s about to flower, where my bees are and what is almost ready to harvest. But sometimes it hurts when I see what visitors have done over night.
I’m holding onto the thought that, even with raids, my garden has continued to provide heaps of food for Frank and me. If we share a little bit with the local fauna, so be it. But why oh why my one watermelon? I know why, because it was ripening nicely. *sigh*