It’s as hot as a defective MacBook battery here, and about as pleasant as residing in a camel’s rectum. Not that I have ever lived in a camel’s rectum, but I imagine that it’s pretty fetid and sweltering. And windy … let’s not forget windy. Nevertheless, I persist – stubbornly, and in the tradition of my Wolgadeutsche ancestors – with my suburban vegetable gardening. After losing three beautiful tomatoes to bird beaks, I sought advice at the local garden center, where I was instructed to decorate the raised beds with fake snakes.
Fake diamondback rattler, amongst the cantaloupes and tomatoes
I don’t know whether the snake has frightened any birds away, but it has already scared the puppies, Hoshi and Sumi. They ran to the furthest corner of the yard, bwuffing and byurking in an alarmed manner.
Puppies, far removed from the inflatable rattlesnake
Below is a diagram of my backyard (not drawn to scale). The snake is currently located in raised bed A, and the puppies usually run between the beds at B, and then wrestle on a grassy patch at E. Now they retreat to P (and to pee). I’ve been instructed to move the snake every day or two, else the birds get used to it and are no longer deterred in their quest to ruin my tomatoes. The ovals at bottom left represent the dry streambed (rocks and plants), which also serves as a puppy Grand National jump.
Fortunately for the puppies, they can still find bits of dried horse manure at the bases of the fruit trees (I and J). Isn’t it great when some of your pets provide food for the others?