Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Mountain Beaver is my enemy.

I have a long-standing war with a Mountain Beaver that has taken up residence in the bushes near my yard. His scientific name is Aplodontia rufa, but let's just call him "Butt Head." You may have never heard of a Mountain Beaver. They aren't actually beavers and they don't live anywhere near the mountains. They rival Skruben in their elusiveness. They have opposable thumbs. They eat my raspberry bushes, and therefore, are my sworn enemy.

Two summers ago I started noticing the new shoots of my raspberry bushes (the next year's crop bearing stalks) were being cut off near the base. After first secretly blaming several different people for the damage, I spied a small fury creature trotting along the base of my raspberry bushes...clutching a bouquet of new shoots in his hand. I instantly knew who the culprit was after having heard tales of local mountain beavers. I consulted with several different garden experts here in Seattle and eventually settled on putting up an electric fence to keep BH out. That worked well, and I settled into a state of egotistical and reckless complacency.

This spring I took down the electric fence, thinking that BH had moved on to greener pastures. There was no sign of him at all through the spring and early summer. My raspberries grew long, lush new shoots and were looking very fine, if I do say so myself. Last Thursday, in the dead of night, he came back. He took half of them the first night and most of the rest over the next few days after I thought I had re-installed the electric fence properly. Idea for a new blog post: how to correctly install an electric fence.

Mountain Beaver: 2, Anne: 0

Follow up (with actual photos):  Caught in the Act!



Green Choice Gardens said...

And to think that i have lived in WA state for 28 years and only just found out about mountain beavers last week. Your post made me laugh and laugh and was actually more infomrative about the mountain beaver than the others I found!

Paper Bagley said...

I live in Oregon and this last year was the worst battle with moles! I did get them with the help of my local Mole Man. Go to my blog under Sept I made a card for the Moleman. Your reads on the mole were great...also thanks for the bottle planter, I will be teaching my grand-kids about plants this summer...Tootsie