Crow-lateral damage, Devil’s grass, killer wasps, and other rants

I hate to kill things.  Really, I do.  I try to not squoosh bugs unless absolutely necessary, and I’d much rather relocate pests than kill them.  Still, life in the country occasionally forces us to do things we wouldn’t normally do. Earlier this year, our ‘murder’ of crows that stays around the house taught themselves to kill my baby chicks by ripping off their heads and eating their hearts.  Nice, huh?  I haven’t ever been too bothered by the crows; I actually LIKE crows.  They are extremely intelligent, and they were really good about chasing off any hawks on our property. However, then the crows figured out how to steal eggs out of the chicken coop. Annoying, to say the least.  That was the final straw for me.  Not only that, they ate every last peach off of my tree, and about 1/2 of my plums this year.  I didn’t even get one.  Not. A. Single. One.  So, after the Great Egg Theft/Peach Destruction of 2012, Jason declared himself the Crow Hunter.  He waits in the chicken coop with his faithful shotgun, and so far, we’re down 4 crows.  My fear was that if we didn’t start taking out the main offenders, they would teach this to the younger crows and we’d be battling peach-eating, chick-killing, egg-sucking crows for the rest of our lives. All I need is for my hard work to go straight down the toilet!  And speaking of that:

If there is one most hated thing I hate about gardening, it’s Bermuda Grass.  I think it should be illegal.  I HATE IT WITH EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING.  You can pull it, burn it, chop it, cover it, mulch it, cuss it, and it comes back every time.  I read where it was called Devil’s Grass, and I can see why.  I call it Cancer Grass (it spreads silently and quickly, without your detection), not to mention many, many very bad words.  I can’t tell you how many hours of my life I have spent pulling it, digging it, and cussing it out.  Now, some of this is our own fault.  When we fenced in the front yard, what we SHOULD have done is drag the whole thing off with a box blade, down to straight sand.  We didn’t.  I assumed (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) that heavy mulch would keep out the Bermuda.  Now it has taken over everything.  It sends runners into all of my beds, under all of my beds, IN my landscape timbers, through any barrier I have ever laid down, and now through my damn brick walkway.  Yes, I can literally MOW my brick path.  All of that work: now VOID. 

So, I’ve been getting into this minimalism thing where I’m trying to make everything as simple as possible.  Bermuda grass and minimalism do NOT go hand in hand.  Unless, perhaps, you want a lawn.  Which I do NOT. Jason and I have decided to rip up everything….yep, everything in the front yard, and drag it off with a blade.  I’ve had it, had it, had it!  I do not mind weeding, but the grass is too much.  I’m getting older, bitchier, and I’m just done with Bermuda grass.  So, I am going to document the progression of our ‘new’ yard.  Wish us luck.  It may just push me over the edge.  I may concrete the front yard or set it on fire.  Hormonal women do crazy things, what can I say?

And on the subject of grass: Have you ever thought about grass? How much it really costs you to even have grass? We have about 3 or 4 acres of ‘front yard’, most of it is covered in some kind of grass.  Now, we don’t water it or fertilize it, or anything like that, but it still costs us a LOT to keep it mowed.  We had to get a riding mower, which of course requires gas, new blades, all sorts of replacement parts every year to keep it running well.  Then, there’s the time it requires to actually mow and weedeat. Some days you just want to set off a bomb in the middle of it all so you don’t have to see the growing grass mocking you hours after you just cut it.  That, or a flock of sheep.  I actually mentioned sheep to Jason and he looked at me like I had lost my mind.  Just trying to help.

Last rant of the day: What is up with the wasps this year?  Wasps are also something that I actually like.  Yes, really.  I have seen many a red wasp eating tomato hornworms off of my plants.  The thing I do not like is when wasps decided to make your home their home.  Oh yeah, and getting stung.  Definitely don’t like that. This year, it seems as though we have a wasp explosion.  They are everywhere; in my greenhouse, our firewood bin, my storage room, and now the front porch.  Basically, I could no longer go anywhere without the white hot fear of ticking off a whole crapload of wasps wherever I went. It was bad enough that I couldn’t go into the right side of the yard, my greenhouse, or my storage building, but when I walked onto my front porch to see about 20 angry wasps yesterday, that was IT.  I went to town to get wasp spray and one store was completely out, and I think I got the last 2 cans at WalMart, so I guess it isn’t just me.  Luckily for me, my Knight in Shining Armor of a husband is pretty fearless when it comes to vanquishing stinging insects.  He just walks right up to a nest and sprays away. It’s a great thing, because I’m the kind of person that actually utilizes the “25 foot distance” advertised on the wasp spray can and then runs away madly.  God help anyone or anything that comes in between me and an open space at that point, because you will be vanquished.  So far, 3 nests are somewhat destroyed but we’re waiting on another can of wasp spray and the evening hours before I can be assured they are really all dead.  

In short, it’s been one of those weeks where you almost want to give up the farm and move to an efficiency apartment.  But not quite.

6 thoughts on “Crow-lateral damage, Devil’s grass, killer wasps, and other rants

  1. I didn’t know crows were for destructive. . . . We had murderous racoons who did something similar, pulling the heads off the rabbits and then lying in wait in the hens’ nesting boxes and feed! Like you we hate to kill – but kill we did!

    Bermuda Grass comes straight from the pit of Hell. It will make a saint cuss like the proverbial sailor and if I thought Roundup would have killed it, I think I would have used that on it. When we moved plants from the other house, we made certain there was no Bermuda grass nodules in with the roots – it is horrible stuff. Evil. and must be destroyed.

    We have too much shade here to have much of a lawn but boy-oh-boy, the grass along the street is something else. It looks as if the place is abandoned. Or haunted. Or something. Here’s hoping the County will soon come mow!

    Can’t complain about the wasps – there’s not nearly as many as in past years – I guess they all relocated to your place!

    Just go spend some days in the city and deal with the traffic . . . crows and Bermuda grass & wasps won’t seem so bad after all!

    1. Yes, pits of hell…you are so correct. I sometimes wonder if monsanto imported it just to sell Roundup. Sounds like something they would do! Lol.

  2. Girl, I am right there with you! The crows, wasps, bees, and squirrels almost ate us out of figs this year. Finally figured out if I picked at 6:30 a.m. and then again at 7:00 p.m. I could get to the fruit before every other living being in the vacinity of the fig trees. As for the grass: KILL IT, KILL IT, KILL IT!!! Can you tell I also despise grass? Just told Kenny this morning that we needed to KILL every blade of grass we didn’t want in our “actual yard area”. When you have more than a typical residential backyard it’s just too costly to maintain when it produces nothing but work. Good Luck!

    1. Yep, we’re headed that way. KILL! I want to start ripping up beds asap. Pretty bad when you sing the praises of Bahia grass, huh? LOL.

    1. Lol, YES. It’s okay, I’m over my self-pity now! Sometimes, it’s just a fantasy of ours to imagine someone else doing the maintenance. Just a far-flung fantasy….

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