Monday, August 08, 2016

Swan song

This daylily doesn't bloom for me every year, (too much shade from the big Japanese maple, I think) so I was delighted to see its fresh face. Sadly, it may never bloom again, if the varmints continue their activity in my island bed.
dead dahlias above, disruption among the daffodils below

Most of my dahlias are already dead, tubers apparently eaten by whatever is burrowing. I won't know if they've eaten my daffodil bulbs until next spring. Seems strange that the bulbs and tubers are edible; the plants themselves are two that deer avoid.

The prime suspects:
California ground squirrels. This youngster showed up on our deck earlier this summer, no doubt looking for the black oil sunflower seeds that I stopped putting out. It might have been orphaned by my varmint-hunting son, and I felt bad for it at the time. However, given the spreading destruction, my sympathies are growing cold . . . just don't ask ME to look down the sights of the .22 at a cute little face. (There's more than one reason I'm a vegetarian!)

That's it for now at . . .


Valerie said...

I don't know about dahlias, but daffodils are poisonous, both the bulbs and the plants. So most animals avoid them for food, but ground moles will destroy the bulbs just with their tunneling.

Theresa said...

Time for that cat to earn a living!

C-ingspots said...

How I understand! I have the same feelings about mice.

A :-) said...

I hate squirrels. More than I can say - but do they burrow? I'm wondering if you have something like a mole or a gopher or a vole. (Yes! The City Girl knows about burrowing varmints! :-D)

Elizabeth P said...

Well, I'm clueless... we have moles and chipmunks but so far anyway no one has munched any tubers or bulbs. I do have little burrows all over the place but the plants seem to have tolerated, so far, any disturbances. I don't think squirrels burrow into the ground... they may dig up bulbs or tubers, maybe, possible although I haven't seen them doing it. We have Arnold Schwarzenegger
squirrels here. I learned the first year here not to put out a bird feeder, the squirrels, no not a bear, the squirrels literally chewed through the bird feeder! By the time the bear made it's springtime rounds there was just shrapnel left of the bird feeder, lol!
Good luck figuring out who the culprit is!
Hugs for now...

Michelle said...

Thanks, Valerie; I guess I'll have to wait to see if my daffodils come up next spring.

Theresa, Oreo does a great job with mice in the barn, but gophers and ground squirrels are on the big side for a small cat.

At least the varmints aren't in my HOUSE, Lorie!

Yes, ground squirrels definitely burrow, A, and there are a lot of them around. We could be dealing with gophers and moles as well – triple threat!

Elizabeth, see above re ground squirrels. Our beautiful Western Gray Squirrels are arborial, and we love them.

Theresa said...

I'm spoiled, both barn cats, Juno and her feral replacement have managed the ground squirrels. I'm thinking resident hawks are a help too, along with foxes and coyotes and lord knows what else hangs around here! :-) My apologies to Oreo, who I am sure is a first rate mouser, and worth his weight in gold. Smooth any ruffled fur for me please.