They’re BAAAAAACK!!!

hunter-hog

A couple of posts back, I mentioned that the wild pig population in my area of the Swamp was exponentially growing.  Now they are not as big as this specimen displayed above, but whatever decided to dig up my front and side yard last night was nearly as hungry.  I need to share with you readers exactly how my conversation went with my wife this morning.  Let me set the scene.

I left the house before dawn this morning to go the nearby grocery store.  (I had a lot to do today).  When I got back the sun was already up.  As I was carrying the groceries into the house I noticed the moles had dug new tunnels close to where we walk – which is unusual behavior.  Then I looked off to the front yard just under the windows to the Master bedroom and I saw where it had been dug up in weird patterns.  Immediately I knew the hogs had returned.  You see, they furrow into the ground with their tusks and they tend to make spirals.  In other areas I could see where it looked as if the grass had been dug up with a gardening trowel (or a hog’s hoof).  So I entered the house saying, “The hogs are back.  I’m going to go out and check on the damage.”

Now hogs are not subtle.  I could plainly see that they had come up from the railroad ditches in the back and had squeezed between the bamboo trees.  They had torn up the grass between the bomb shelter and my neighbor’s fence and had ventured as far as the front yard.  I could tell by this hog’s prints he/she was not a big one, and there were probably no more than two hogs involved (or the damage would have been a LOT worse).  I figured he looked a bit like this:

featured-feral-hog

So I came back in the house and mentioned the extent of the damage to the lawn.  My wife asked “How big do you think it was?”

I said, “About 120 pounds.”

She looked at me with that awesome look wives give their husbands and said, “Just how to you figure that, smarty pants?”

Now please understand at this moment all I could think about was to retort with some wise-crack.  They included:

(1) “Because that was the weight listed on his driver’s license.”

(2) “Because it is still out there.”

(3) “Because the hunters along the railroad tracks saw it.”

No, I know better.  I simply described the physical evidence I saw, and tried hard not to sound like Detective Colombo (look that one up in IMDB.com if it does not sound familiar.  Hey I’m old).

So for that brief moment in time, this morning, I felt semi-intelligent.  Not only did I predict the hogs return, but I could easily tell the size of our visitor.  That moment was fleeting, however as I had a lot of work to do.  Such is like in the Swamp.

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Killer Bunnies

questbunnies

A number of years ago, my kids and I played a vicious card game called “Killer Bunnies.”  This demented and completely awesome game was about as cutthroat as a game can become.  The illustration above shows some of the bunnies one would posses in the game and believe me keeping your bunnies alive to be able to win at the end of the game was challenging enough.  (Queue the music “Let the Bunnies Hit the Floor”).

Today my wife and I were discussing the feasibility of raising rabbits in the backyard.  Normally this would not be a challenge to most folks, but don’t forget, I live the The Swamp.  This is the place where the most harmless swim will turn into a battle with gators, flesh-eating bacteria, or even worse – the locals.  Not all of them, mind you, just the ones who tend to spend just a wee bit too much time “enjoying” the outdoors.  Harsh?  Maybe, but after living in this place for over two decades I do have a unique perspective on life here.

But continuing down this through path, my wife and I agreed placing bunnies in a hutch outside would invite every predator within miles be it on the hoof, paw or wing.  One good predatory event (or bad, depending on perspective) would have these bunnies in cages lined up like a buffet line at the Golden Corral.  I understand rabbits breed like crazy but I think the war of attrition would still strongly be in favor of the hunters, not the hunted.

I recall that when I first moved here, we had a family of rabbits that would appear every evening around sunset to munch on the greens out behind my kitchen window.  I occasionally would toss out some carrots to them in the hopes they would return year after year.  I have not seen hide nor hare (I couldn’t resist) of them in over 15 years – I think they have gone off to the great hutch in the sky – until I saw this photo.

killer-bunny

Yes if it was a true rabbit from the Swamp here I imagine it would be as nasty and vicious as this momma rabbit.  Knowing my luck any wild rabbit here would make the rabbit from Monty Python’s Holy Grail movie look meek in comparison.  Where the squirrels are now scared to scrounge in my backyard due to the wildlife, I am sure there is a Rambo Bunny out there kicking butt and taking no prisoners.  If I see a rabbit out in my backyard sporting a red bandanna, I will do my best to take a picture while running in the other direction.  Hey, if Tim the Enchanter cannot best this beast, who am I to argue?

Such is life in the Swamp…

 

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