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This means war

Posted July 9, 2012

I am at war ... at war with a squirrel. I am pretty fond about most things that I've experienced while living in the Midwest. Sure, the winters are a little tough, but it makes you stronger, right? Unfortunately, the one thing that has not meshed well with me are the Midwestern critters. The mosquitos eat me alive, I'm constantly paranoid that I'll hit a deer while driving, no matter what I walk through in the summer I always seem to end up with a tick on me, and the first time I saw a jack rabbit I thought it was a medium sized dog. However, the one animal that I can't stand most of all ... that truly makes me see red ... are the squirrels.

You would never have guessed that a squirrel would be my archenemy but when I decided to plant flowers and herbs this Spring, the war began. You see, every spring and summer I have a tradition of planting sunflowers and various herbs (parsley, basil and dill this year). I become somewhat attached to my sunflowers. Now, I can't say that I've always taken the best care of them. Last year I had an incident with setting the seedlings too close to the grill while it was heating up. Whoops. While it breaks my heart a little bit, I can deal with my own absent mindedness destroying my little flowers. However, when something else causes them to experience an untimely death I don't handle it as well.

A few weeks ago I walked outside to water my plants and noticed that a little baby sunflower had been plucked from the pot and dumped on the ground next to it. I was a little upset, but brushed it off. Then, a few days later I noticed something had been nibbling on my parsley. Again, I was a little frustrated but stayed composed. When I was on vacation for a few weeks, a friend of mine was cat sitting/plant sitting and sent me a horrifying message. Something had destroyed my parsley. And the next day, something had destroyed my dill. She moved them indoors until I got home, but as I walked up the steps after a long day of traveling I had seen the worst thing of all: something had bit the top off one of my sunflowers.

I snapped into defense mode! No more messing around. I ran to the store, grabbed an array of netting, and surrounded my injured plants hoping it would add a little protection.

While I am happy to report I have had no more incidents since I went on the defense, the war is not over. While I try to be kind to all animals, and really love everything North Dakota, squirrels be warned: If I see you so much as sniff one of my plants, I will have no problem setting a hose and my two fierce kittens on you.

Adkisson writes about her new life in North Dakota at becom