Springtime fun with garden, foxes

Published 2:28 pm Thursday, May 11, 2023

By Jan Penton-Miller

After a little trip to New Orleans over the weekend I can’t help but compare all the lush gardens to mine. To say mine falls a little short would be an understatement for sure, but it is a beautiful little work in progress. My agapanthus, though on the small side, are blooming profusely, and the hummingbirds seem to love them.

The fun thing about gardening is watching an idea come to fruition. Actually, our creator thought of the idea of the beautiful bounty of nature, and the first garden must have been amazing. But what a delight it is to have a small part in perpetuating beauty.

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We all know that weeds come along with those flowers, and I wasn’t stingy on the mulch, but the weeds are beginning to poke through anyway. I guess I know what I’ll be doing this afternoon!

It would be so nice if flowers would pop up as easily as weeds do, but I guess the challenge of keeping things looking nice is just part of it. Since my neighborhood is filled with cats that like to visit and my little dog likes to sniff around I don’t use poison. The organic weed killer I found seems to help though the smell of vinegar in it is pretty strong.

I had a scary thought just now. If I don’t get all the weeds up and go to fertilize then I suppose I’m fertilizing the weeds, as well. Not a very good plan I would have to say, but just maybe if I fertilize the weeds they will be easier to reach to pull up. On second thought the root system would be stronger so maybe that isn’t such a good idea.

As you may be able to tell, weeding isn’t my favorite pastime, but it has to be done in order to have the beautiful gardens I have been spending the weekend enjoying. I’ll probably take a little time weeding and call in reinforcements to help.

Along with the spring flowers bursting into bloom baby animals seem to be everywhere. Often in the evenings my son, Ryan, and I take my little dog, Missy, on a hunt. She loves to growl at animals from the safe distance of the car. We have seen raccoons, armadillos, squirrels and rabbits along with the usual stray cats.

But we were like giddy children when one night last week we spotted three little fox kits coming out of the forest onto the road. They were red with long fluffy tails and absolutely gorgeous. The three quickly darted back into the woods when they saw our headlights.

According to Woodland Trust, foxes catch rabbits, birds and rodents, but they are omnivores. They will eat berries and fruit when available.

Foxes are usually silent, but can make up to 28 sounds. They are shy animals so if you take an evening drive and see one you are fortunate indeed!