Sunday, May 29, 2011

More Tales Of The Porcupine

Last night we were visited again by our porcupine.  Maybe the unseasonal heat and humidity had made him irritable, but this time he chewed through the hardware cloth which my husband had wrapped around the post of the garage to protect it.  Through the holes that he ripped in the mesh, our porcupine made significant progress towards his goal of eating the garage post.  Were you under the impression that a porcupine's quills are his only significant weapon?  Apparently he has quite a set of teeth as well, on top of an indomitable will.

At dinner with an herbalist friend, we told her our problem.  She said that wild creatures in general hate the smell and taste of aromatic plant essences, such as mint.  Fortunately, we have enough mint (pepper-, apple-, orange-, and lemon balm) to deter an army of undesirables, so this evening my husband picked a bunch, and threaded it into the remains of the hardware cloth. 

Those herbs attached to the weather beaten post make me think of the wayside shrines you sometimes saw in Europe--located in spots consecrated in turn to nameless earth spirits, Druid divinities, Roman goddesses, and the Virgin Mary--and which the rustic passersby would honor with a handful of aromatic herbs, or a bouquet of wildflowers.

Will the power of mint do the job that the humane trap and the hardware cloth failed at, and keep our porcupine-chewed garage from collapsing?  I'll let you know.

9 comments :

  1. the mint might work. or it might just make him fetch some bourbon and sugar for a julep.

    good luck.

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  2. With THIS porcupine, nothing would surprise me.

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  3. Traditionally mint is a sign of hospitality, he may think you are inviting him to snack away. Can you cover the post with some copper or metal flashing? I am thinking the taste of copper would be a good deterrent and you could coat it with that stuff to turn it green sooner, that would be prettier.

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  4. Oh, no! Mint juleps AND a welcome mat! We're doomed.

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  5. So what happened? Did he/she bring bourbon?

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  6. The next morning, there were no further depredations. I guess he/she would rather drink juleps than eat wood. We'll see if this lasts.

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  7. That's so odd because mint is so good!

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  8. Maybe it's not language, after all, that sets us apart from the animals, but our taste for mint.

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