I want to ressurect the Berlin wall, just a portion of it, in my front yard. The thing is, I know for a fact the zoning committee for my township frowns on barbed-wire fencing. I’m pretty sure they would not support my idea to erect a brick-and-mortar fortress, complete with trenches and armed guards. But something needs to be done!
Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised. I keep the side yards and the back yard natural. I keep the native grasses (yes, I’m aware that’s a euphemism for weeds) and the moss mowed short in only a small area so that my kids can romp and run and climb on the playset. Otherwise, the place is natural, wooded and wild. I will sit on my patio in the summer, drinking coffee before the rest of the house wakes up, and listen to the birds. Sometimes a ground hog will lumber by. Occassionally I make eye-contact with the deer at the edge of the forest. I feel as though, despite the fact that I’m paying a mortgage and taxes on the ground there, it belongs to nature, to the wild flora and fauna and I’m privileged to enjoy it behind my mug.
All I ask for in return is that nature let me have my front yard. My front yard with the expensive grass where we eat dinner, picnic-style with neighbors on warm nights. My front yard, the place where I grow peonies, irises and roses to cut and enjoy indoors. My front yard where I planted crape myrtles, dogwoods and a cherry tree in contrast to the oaks and pine trees everywhere else. Am I asking for too much? I garden organically? I don’t think I’m offending anyone.
Long ago I gave up on phlox and hostas–the rabbits and deer used those beds as their personal salad bar. I quit keeping bird feeders close to the house because squirrels found their way from them into my attic. I allowed the frogs to move into my little pond and allowed the bees to keep their hives. So, while not exactly catering to the wildlife, I’ve made concessions. I’m trying to meet nature half-way. But I’m all out of options now.
My turf has been infiltrated. My land has been invaded. The winter snows are retreating only to reveal the evidence. The myriad holes are exposed. The tiny mounds running the length of my property are clearly marked. The enemy is not even trying to hide its presence. I have moles!
Internet searches are scaring me. Apparently there are all sorts of tried-but-not-fool-proof-and-true techniques to get rid of the buggers. I’m assured I have a spring and summer ahead of me filled with subterranean warfare. I now fantasize about spending the pre-dawn hours with Bill Murray in pseudo-combat gear, toting fire hoses and explosives.
I just can’t figure out how such a little, tiny little and cute critter can cause me such grief! Why is he prepared to battle with nothing but wee claws and a wiggling nose? How is it, in the chess game that I call my gardening hobby, that I’m already feeling cornered, just a move away from check mate? And what do I do when I fail?