I don't follow the Chinese zodiac, but no matter what anyone else tells you, this was the year of the rat. And the bird. And the mole. It is unlikely I'll be able to dig up any photographic evidence since it wasn't a situation I took pleasure in.
It began in late summer when something devoured the stem of the tomato plant I'd carefully cultivated after my husband found it abandoned in a parking lot growing out of its styrofoam cup. The tomatoes were large and perfect and green one day, the next day they were dead. The next horror was the second Carbon tomato I was waiting for. The same day it reached ripe perfection I discovered something had eaten the entire back half of the tomato. Yuck. Then the perennial kale clippings that had taken root finally were eaten to the nub.
It continued in October, when THE BIRDS arrived. They ate everything. Everything. But I soldiered on and kept planting, planting, planting in a helpless mix of desperation and optimism. A few things made it for a while. Rats and birds do not prefer plants in the mustard family, but once everything else was gone those went too. The bok choy that had somehow survived the rats' notice and outgrown the birds was decimated by moles in the same bed I had fortified with wire in the fall. They ate away the roots and left the leaves to wilt. It was crushing.
By February I was considering building cages or some kind of electrified fencing when a friend I will refer to from hereon out as the Godfather suggested the obvious. Cats. CATS!!! I needed a barn cat!
Days later I found the cutest pair of rescue cats, and adopted them for what was probably an exorbitant amount of money. It's ok, it was a good cause. We put rat poison out everywhere and it started disappearing. We ordered more rat poison, but we appeared to have reached rat/poison homeostasis.
Life is good again, and just last week I saw one of our cute little cuddly kittens tossing a dead mole around with boundless enthusiasm. It was gruesome, but it sure was beautiful.
I love trying new foods, cooking, and gardening. I hope to share these experiences on this site. Thanks for taking a look!