Sunday, July 01, 2007

I'm packing heat.

Here at Bellemaison we take great pride in the fact that we are herbicide and pesticide free. We allow no chemicals to be used and rely on natural predators to keep noxious pests in check and use hot water and salt to eradicate weeds we pull with no success. We The Man. As a result, Bellemaison is home to all kinds of creatures that live in peace and harmony and that breathe freely. Until today.

We have a hundred or so newly hatched baby birds at the moment; they arrive when the roses are in full bloom and I have been lucky to get some wonderful pictures of them in their greediness as Mama scurries around Bellemaison, collecting their dinner. I was awakened early this morning by the dread sound of The Horsemen of The Apocolypse, the garden crows.

The crows come and take the baby birds from the nest as they cry for their mother. It is a fearsome sight to witness and the one and only reason why we have 75 birdhouses. The birds will still nest in the trees and in the tangles of roses but at least I know it was their choice. The crows came to raid this morning and when I rushed down to the garden, it was eerily quiet except for the raucous cawing of these demons. The squirrels are the only other sound and presence in the garden, making that strange chirp they make as they run up and down the tree trunks giving the birds latitude and longtitude of the black beasts. You do not see nor hear a bird or their babies; ; they are tucked into the houses that hang everywhere. And how the mothers quiet them fascinates me. But they do. The birds are safe as long as they stay in the houses.

There were eight crows who hung around here all day, screaming and calling and intimidating the very air. The Chow Nation paced and were restless. Sunday is a big sleep day for them and they didn't sleep all day as the harrassment of the crows continued without ceasing for the entire day. At a point, I would go out into the garden and angrily confront the crows; they were sooo scared of me. They just perched higher in the trees. Until Joe Montana came home.

Then the tables turned. He got out his pellet gun, his pellet gun he had on the Rez as a little kid, and loaded it for me and Justice Was Served. OtisGlikes to talk about the Joe and the time he spends there. Now Otis is a nice guy but I seriously doubt he learned to swim, shoot and fish on the Joe like I did. And it's a known and bitter fact that I was the best shot and caught the biggest fish in the family. Except for my dad. So I knew exactly what to do and was completely confident with my gun from the Rez. I sights me some crows sitting side by side on the wire and pfft pfft pfft! Ghandi. I caught the CSs who were perching higher mid air as they were making a break for it. Got off a couple more rounds to signal the Brave New World here at Bellemaison. Circled the patio to see if there was anything more that needed to be done. Seeing none, I put the gun away. The Chows were high fiving.

And this evening the birds sing and chirp as they criss cross the garden with bugs and worms for their babies. Everybody, most of all me, is happy. And I am just about postive you can be organic-certified and still carry a gun. I mean, why couldn't you?

The 'Kan EWA


PDX Pup said...

THOSE MOTHER-EFFING CROWS! While I was never permitted by my grandfather, uncles, and parents to shoot at a live thing, I was the best shot among the cousins at an empty can of dogfood from 100 yards. I will take those sons-a-bitches down. Just unlock my pump action pellet gun, and those crows will know the meaning of fear. I am totally confident that, had I not become a commercial real estate broker/soccer coach extraordinaire, I would have a been a kick-ass sniper in the Marine Corps.

the psycho therapist said...

Oh I'll be back on this one, baby, I will be return. Just had seconds to skim and I'm sure it's a great piece, like everything else you scribe.

Must hurry for work but loved your comment so much on Marmy's I had to incorporate you and it and drop in for a look-see.

Oooo, you *are* da man, I mean, bomb, I mean One.




Wondering said...

My rock throwing was no match for the crow who killed my baby robins. The nest was on top of a pillar on my front porch. Perfectly situated to shelter from the elements. I guess this horrible bird heard the babies chirping. I cried!

JBelle said...

Wondering, They do hear the babies crying. That's what brings them. I had 6 new crows this morning. SIX. Now there are SIX fewer crows in this world. As you can see from my dainty, retiring daughter, when the time comes, the women in this family take no prisoners. Gee, I never thought about the Marine Corps. That mighta been fun.

Your Holiness, I do know a thing such as yourself deeply regrets violence but yet embraces justice. And justice of an appropriate brand. Bless, My Mother, because I had sinned and will rise to sin again.

toadman said...

The sound of the crow is the portent of death and sorrow. Something I gather isn't wanted in the gardens of Bellmaison. However, here at Toadmaison, we take a more Darwinian approach to gardening. The natural world cannot be shaped by the likes of us mere mortal humans, but it shaped by her own devices and processes. Is a baby sparrow taken away by a crow? Sometimes. It's not without some sadness, but it's with the knowing that this is the way the world works, the way nature least until the Meow Nation gets the upper hand and takes down one of the crows with it's instinctive ferocity.

It's like Mutual of Omaha in our back yard here at Toadmaison...with one exception, the vegetable garden is off limits and not subject to natural laws....heh...

the psycho therapist said...

Okay, back. (My gift to myself today, having had one break to empty my bladder, the other reserved for you, lol.)

Dunno Schmeebs, the picture you paint makes my hands ache for weaponry...death. Thing is, as much as I'd want to destroy the muthuhs, the disgust I'd experience while witnessing the results of my actions would be, uh, off-putting. I'm not one to stomach mayhem, blood and gutsy type material. Perhaps they could be electrocuted instead? Cleaner, lol.

See, it's not the death part, per se, that stands in my way as much as the method of death.

I bet I'd be a sharpshooter, too. Always fancied being trained along such lines. Yes, mmm hmm, snipers-r-us.



JBelle said...

Girl, it's a clean, neat , easy hit. We have no labradors in residence at Bellemaison so I follow up with the shovel, pick up the waste material and dump it in a deep hole I dig out back before I go pick up the dead, quite, blackness. Minimal blood. No carnage. Complete, utter justice. And the birds sing and chirp all the while, too! You know, I am going to start drinking whiskey. neat. (sniffing up a good one)(hitching up britches)

Carla said...

Oh...I do the hot water thing but am totally in the dark about the salt. Please do enlighten me. How does it work? How much? I've got some pretty stubborn, nasty weeds to deal with and I best be getting at it. Yes, those crows can certainly intimidate. Last year we had a murder of them and they were not kind at all to the baby hawk in the area. I hear if you string up a dead one it will keep the others away. Have not yet confirmed it.

JBelle said...

Carla: NO KIDDING. Heck, I'll hang a dozen of these guys all over. And it would be quite interesting to see if they are cannibals, wouldn't it?

I pour rock salt and industrial salt that we use on the roads in winter on problematic areas. The rock salt dissolves over the summer and after a certain build up from repeated annual applications, works quite well. The table salt and industrial salt take out anything in their path with no further ado. They are AWESOME. :) I just pour either on, water lightly so the salt won't blow away and let the magic begin. I then pick out the dead weeds and try to leave the salt in there to warn anybody else that's thinking about growing. Salt is fabulous for specific, spot poisoning without toxic effects.

InlandEmpireGirl said...

JEJ tries to keep firearms far away from me.... pine cones are usually my "heat".

Jump to the Left said...

Well, jbelle, this was a delightful read, and I am both celebrating the justice and appreciating toad's darwinian natural order. I guess in the natural world, the wildlife work things out, and you entered the equation as part of the wildlife, which is cool. In my urban coastal backyard I have seen opossums, raccoons, cats, newts, hawks, and hummingbirds. The crows presently lay in wait, poised to ravage my fig trees the day before I pick fruit. They are greedy beasts. In any case, I think pellets can be counted as organic. Wonder if there is a market for pellets made from recycled materials. Then again, I have to laugh at myself 'cause I wouldn't know a pellet if I found one in my soup.

I love roses. In the garden, time stops, and I feel myself falling slowly inside them, intoxicated by their glorious enchantment.

Your garden sounds lovely.

The Fool said...

H'lo Seargent Cheechako'am, yes ma'am!

Yup. You can only practice so much of that passive resistance stuff, and then you've got to load the gun. For the greater benefit of all in the kingdom.

Crows are tough birds to take down with a single shot BB gun(you can only pump that sucker so far). Put a little umph into the game. Try a 20 guage.


JBelle said...

Lord Foolish: my father used a 20 gauge on the woodpeckers, endangered, that were endangering his newly planted birch trees along the banks of the St. Joe River. True story. We'd be on the deck having cocktails and my father would get up and go around back and before not too long, the front door would slide open quietly and the 20 would come slowly through the top of the door. He'd let go of that thing, with 15 or so of us sitting right there and my mother would scream, and a woodpecker would fall in the meadow. She'd be furious, the kids would all be giggling and we'd sit there and look at each other, thinking he's crazy. Ask my children. It's what their childhood memories on The Joe are made of. Then just to make sure the legend would live on, my dad would take all the little kids down to an obscure part of the meadow and teach them to shoot, just like he did my brothers and me. Believe it or not, all the kids learned on a 20. These days...not so much. I can't feature what would move me to teach my grandchildren or any children to shoot.

Jumpster: what a nice, nice surprise. yeah, that Toad. He's the mature among us. I think Darwin's fine when we are talking leaf rollers and aphids. :) I would love to see your seaside garden! And a fig tree? oh my!

JBelle said...

Gardener Girl, these black beasts snicker would snicker if I threw pine cones at them. But there's no more laffing now.... (eyes narrowing)(smirking)

Julie said...

Jbelle, in my garden nature goes around and around. For every baby bird the ravens take (and we don't seem to have many), we have hawks and other rapters that come and take their babies. What goes around... You can tell when this happens from the ravens chasing after the hawks. The only animal the big rapters don't seem to take are the adult hares that eat my polyanthas. For them a good gun is necessary (and a stew pot).

We have ravens here rather than crows. Fortunately, I don't see many of either.

toadman said...

...yeah, that Toad. He's the mature among us.

heh heh.. the other day...heh heh.. you said... heh heh.. TITilating.. sounds like...heh heh.. you know.. heh heh.. "tit"... heh heh... I said 'tit'. heh... uh.. heh heh..

Jump to the Left said...


MarmiteToasty said...

Id shoot the little bastards and bake them in a pie, like '4 and 20 black bloody birds'


The Fool said...

Happy Easter, Cheechako! ...and 4th of July, too.

Did you really say "tit"? Oooooh. I'll have to look back through the posts. Is there a photo?

Too funny, Toadman. Never let anyone question your maturity...


Wondering said...

In England, they say, "stone the crows". Now I know why. The crow who killed my robins was ultimately chased off by the wrens who have a nest in an opening of my roof trim. I also had a sparrow nest they robbed that day. I have a regular avian maternity ward going here. Back east, we had many more hawks than here. And I was always amazed to see the small birds chase these huge birds away. The little guys would group and chase. And thoses hawks took off...just goes to show.

I wish I had pups talent with a pump action.

MarmiteToasty said...

*waving at wondering*

Yep we say 'stone the crows' and the 'thick heads' and the people with 'dodgy knees'


green libertarian said...

Surely, if a group of crows is called a murder, then they're fair game.

I've had two run-ins with the bastids. Back when I about 12, my neighbor kept his dogs in an outside pen, and the crows would eat the dogs' food. My neighbor engaged me to take out some crows with a pellet gun, which I did, happily, but also shot through the window of a neighbor's house... bummer. I was having such fun, too.

When I had my house in Mead, we had a private park right behind our house, and for some damn reason those freaking crows started congregating in the field by the dozens, and squawking up a storm at the crack of dawn. I was on the HOA board, and checked into it with the county, who said we couldn't shoot them, can't remember why. Eventually, they went away.

Don't scarecrows work?