George Dorner, Illinois

Wildlife Visitors

July 20, 2008

Categories: General, Non-Daffodil

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2 responses to “Wildlife Visitors”

  1. Merrill Jensen says:

    If it’s not one thing, it’s another…  My most challenging wildlife visitor here in SE Alaska aren’t the hoofed maggots we generally refer to as deer, nor the arboreal rats better known as squirrels.  My wild pests are rather large (300 plus lbs.) black bears; Ursus americana.  These beasts have been camping out in our Sorbus trees in the fall to feast on the abundant berry crop before hibernation.  They are magnificent animals, but make gardening a bit interesting when they are prowling the grounds.  It wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t fancy themselves as arborists.  Their pruning skills leave much to be desired and as a result, the trees look more than a bit ragged.  Our benefactor spent four decades planting mountain ash on the property and now I get to figure out how to deal with them…. The solution?  A multi-year program to replace the banged up trees with species that won’t be quite as attractive as a food source.  Another wild visitor that needs to change their diet is the porcupines.  They delight in grazing just about anything at random.  Two nights ago, one decided that our Rosa rubrifolia (that was in full bloom) looked pretty appetizing.  I have found that cayenne pepper has been a good deterrent, but how does one get into the mind of an animal to figure out which plants will be the next target? And three acres of cultivated garden in the middle of the Tongass National Forest looks like a nice diversion from a diet of spruce and hemlock.  My wife tells me to smile and appreciate the rest of the wild kingdom that is out the front door.  Right now, a dozen bald eagles are bickering over the scraps from today’s catch of salmon (a tasty dinner tonight for us!) and the humpback whales are spouting in the distance…  Sure beats sweating in the Mid-West!


    Merrill Jensen (no relation to our founder)

    Arboretum Manager

    Jensen-Olson Arboretum

    Juneau, Alaska

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  2. Brian Duncan, Northern Ireland Brian Duncan says:

    Hello George,
    I was trying to tease a little response knowing how many Americans love their squirrrels. Your response is comprehensive and with feeling  – and speaks of many animals that I would love to see – in other peoples property!
    I’d like to have woodpeckers – which kind visit you?