Spring arrives and life unfurls in scenes of ephemeral joy.
The lettuce eater:
My lettuce seedlings have been disappearing. There one day, eaten down to the dirt the next.
Neighbours and fellow gardeners laid the blame on the lady brushtail possum who lives in the old conifer across the way (and has lately had a few enamoured late night callers who make their way across my roof – ah, Spring), so I dragged out some old chicken wire from under the house and possum-proofed the pea and lettuce patch.
Still my delicate seedlings disappeared. Clearly the culprit was someone small enough to slip through the bars of my vegetable prison.
A bandicoot, perhaps? Some native hopping mouse like the melomies that lived in my neighbour’s woodpile back in Brisbane?
This morning I got a good look at my villain, foraging in broad daylight for fallen seed where I’ve recently cleared away some greenwaste in preparation for planting carrots and beets: Rattus norvegicus, the European brown rat.
Guess I’m off to buy a rat trap if I want carrots this year…