Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gophers and The CF Life: The Similarities Are Astounding

For the past couple of weeks I've been playing a cat and mouse game with a critter that is getting oh so close to my garden. Before I get too deep, let's start from the beginning, let's go back in time about 2 weeks...

So I walked outside (to the side of my house) to some above ground planters, that Mandi and I planted cucumber and zucchini in, in order to do some pruning. I noticed that some dirt had been kicked up and the cucumber plant just looked a bit "off". At this point I thought that it was possibly the wind that had kicked the dirt up and shifted the plant enough so that it looked different. I went about my business and pruned both plants.

The next day as I was walking to my trash can, by way of the planters, I noticed that the cucumber plant was now a bit smaller (and not a result of my pruning). As I investigated further, I came to the conclusion that some bugs must have gotten into the plant and started nibbling away. I then brought out the bug spray and gave it a good dousing.

Then two days later when I was putting some recycling in the bin, I noticed that the entire cucumber plant was now gone! My first thought was that my neighbor was playing some sort of joke on me to be honest with you. Due to my very green thumb, I couldn't come up with many more answers other than bugs or pranks. That's when I noticed a mound of dirt about 5 feet away from the planter. Now, I'm no expert, but at this point I figured that there must be some critter making holes in my yard and then proceeding to eat it's way through my vegetables. I then noticed a very tiny hole in the dirt of the cucumber planter that after digging it up found it to be a much bigger hole. I didn't however see any critter.

The next day I noticed a new mound of dirt in-between the cucumber planter and the zucchini planter. Ok, I thought, this needs to be handled. I didn't want to lose my zucchini plant like I did my cucumber plant. Knowing that things were progressing with this little rat, or whatever it was, I new that I needed to kick my butt into gear. But it didn't. Could have done something that night, but I didn't. You can probably guess what I walked out to the next day.

Yup, the zucchini plant didn't look as vibrant as it did the day before. The dirt had been dug up and the leaves were already starting to wilt. I reached down, grabbed the plant and up it came. Not a root in sight. The little bugger actually ate all of the roots to the plant but had not yet made his way to the leaves or zucchini. I put the plant back down to grab Mandi and showed
her what had happened. After she checked out the damage and headed back in, I stood by the planter to decide what step to take next. It was then that I looked down at the hole this dude had dug and noticed his stupid nose pushing dirt literally 6 inches from my foot. Looking back, I wish I would have grabbed a shovel and done my best to "find" him with the end of it. I may have been able to take care of the problem right then, but I didn't. Instead, I picked up the zucchini plant and hastily tossed it into the trash can.

Then for the next week, I talked about how this critter, gopher to be exact, was making his way through my garden. I rehashed the story at least a dozen times and each time ended it with what I needed to do. See, by this time, he had moved on to another planter which is only about 10 feet from my main garden. I knew that I had to act in order to save the "prize" of my backyard. But, I didn't. Instead, I just talked about options. I told people who would listen that I really didn't know what to do. I mean, I knew something had to be done, but just what had to be done I did not know. I sat idle and complained even though I new the future. I knew, based on this gopher getting closer and closer to my full garden, and the destruction that had been left behind, exactly what was going to happen. It wasn't a matter of if my garden would be destroyed, but when. Yet, I did nothing. At this point, even though I didn't know what exactly needed to be done, I should have done something, yet, I did nothing. In fact, I didn't attempt to do anything. It felt like I was waiting for my garden to be destroyed, to then figure out what to do. Almost as if the garden being destroyed would somehow make this threat more "real". By that point of course it would be to late.

I could've acted a few days prior, but I didn't. I could've acted when I noticed a big mound of dirt and my cucumber plant destroyed, but I didn't. I could have acted when I was holding a dead zucchini plant in the air, but I didn't. I could've acted as the gopher made it's way towards my garden and proceeded to do what was almost a certainty at this point, yet, I did nothing. So what was it going to take to make me actually do something to solve this problem? Not sure, but apparently it hasn't happened yet. I just hope by the time I decide to act that it won't be too late.

So what exactly does this have to do with CF/Treatments/Life? Well, what do you think?

To be continued on Wednesday....