Sunday, May 15, 2011



This is the bird, the Spotted Towhee, that has turned my gardening world upside down for the last month. And I am pretty sure it is just one bird.

Neil built the framework for our trellis and I stapled the 4" netting to keep the deer out. They have been one of my main concerns lately. I planted two varieties of snap peas. Yum!

Later that afternoon, as I was basking in the warmth of the sun and nursing the babe, all tranquility was lost. A @&$! Towhee jumped right through the trellis like it was the front door to the Las Vegas Hilton. Oh and today there was a FREE All-You-Can-Eat Buffet! Each and every little pea that I had so carefully planted, seed by precious seed, had been scratched up and chewed on. Humph. Round 1 winner - Towhee.

A trip to the hardware store provided me with a chance to get some fine mesh bird netting and some more peas. I bought several packets of each variety.

Mesh in place. Seeds planted. Waiting.

Next morning. Dirt kicked everywhere. Peas unearthed and shelled.
Round 2 goes to the Towhee.

Mesh checked. Corners battened down. Seeds haphazardly planted, but they are in there. This is the first time I have planted something while muttering profanity.

While sitting for a visit with my mom, the little bastard (said with a love and respect for nature) pushed up the bottom of the mesh, hopped right in and started scratching and eating. I now felt he was doing this this with a great sense of arrogance and spite. My blood pressure was rising as I ran out the door, threw on my boots and chased him out. We will call Round 3 a draw.

Apparently, this little mastermind figured out how to get through the bottom of the net. I had to find a way to tuck the net under the trellis. Bit by bit, I tucked every last inch of netting under the trellis and anchored it with plant name tags in the Towhee's favorite places.



Head back and throw some more peas in...literally.

Again while nursing, the little bugger came back. He went to his favorite spot and cockily grabbed the net and flung it up, but it didn't go anywhere. Ha! Then he tried another spot. Foiled again. Ha Ha! Now I am starting to feel a wee bit smug. His movements started to become somewhat frantic as he tried different spots and spastically flitted up and down the mesh netting. He could SEE the newly planted seeds. I am sure he could even smell them. If a bird could drool over a potential meal, I was sure he was. I giggled. Unexpectedly, he FLEW OFF! Victorious!!!

Oh @&$!, he headed to my uncovered bed right next to it. You see, I had come in to nurse since my husband had given me the morning to do my "big planting" and I hadn't covered my freshly planted beds yet. Little Bastard was digging up my basil seeds. My hero, my husband, threw on his shoes and ran outside in the rain to play the part of terrifying scarecrow. He shooed the Towhee away. Safe.

When I returned outside, I checked the peas and was surprised to find 3 little green shoots popping up. Happiness. Round 4 - me. Finally.

When it comes to parenting I always joke that it is like the TV reality show "Survivor" and you have to "out wit, out smart and out last" your kids. This has been taken to a whole new level with this bird. While I am a bird lover, I DO NOT love this bird. I finally took one round, but I will not rest. There is a fear that boils deep inside. We WILL have delicious peas this summer. We will as long as they survive.

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