My nose is running like a river and glowing as red as Rudolph's as I write. What is it about freeze-up and the end of outdoor gardening that lets one's immune system and defense mechanisms down?
I remember every time my child had a break from school, I'd be on nurse duty. Is there something about human physiology where we push ourselves hard but can prevent ourselves from getting sick until it's safe to take a rest? Hmm.
Hard to believe the ground could freeze solid as fast as it did. Didn't get to turning over this year's compost, didn't get to finish heeling in pots of plants, didn't trim the cotoneaster so I could wind a barrier of bird netting around it for protection from the moose.
I'm not a convert of Plantskydd -- too expensive, has a shelf life and can't be applied under a certain temperature. But some people swear by it.
The thing about moose is you have to put a deterrent at their nose and eye level, otherwise they just ignore it like a pesky mosquito.
Contrary to popular belief, moose are smart. Two winters ago I watched as a young bull, intent on getting to my hedge, deliberately pawed down part of the neon orange safety netting I had so carefully arranged over my precious bushes. Then he nosed around until he found an opening in the rest of it. Sorry, but that was not dumb ungulate behavior.
A homesteading family in Homer uses white plastic grocery bags tied intermittently along a rope fence and says it's worked for 40 years to keep the moose out of their large vegetable patch. An Anchorage Hillside gardener swears by pieces of yellow surveyor tape tied around her front yard. A fellow master gardener has had success using pinwheels mounted on tall stakes to keep the moose from taking a stroll through her garden beds.
Last year I wound barrier and decorated it with yellow surveyor tape and pinwheels for good measure. For the first time, the moose didn't get to anything.
Do I take a chance the old neighborhood moose - or new ones - won't be sniffing around? Do I dare go with pinwheels and yellow surveyor tape alone? The way it is, I may not have a choice.
Anecdotal information suggests that perhaps there is something about light colors that moose don't like. Or it could be the motion of flapping/flashing in the wind. Or a combination of both. Or something entirely different.
I guess no one really knows for sure.
I think it would be nice if someone were to do a scientific study about all of this. Lord knows, it's about time.