SNAIL PATROL          - 31/ 1/ 2005      <--Prev : Next-->


It was all the Hammerkops' fault.....

This infestation of creatures in my garden.

I mean they had to eat didn't they, they resided with us for over two years and we needed to assure a regular food supply so that they did not get shot by our next door neighbour. (He had no sense of humour, every time they paid his Koi pond a courtesy visit, he would run around with a broomstick yelling blue murder and then he threatened to find his old 12 bore to deal with our visitors.

Hammer and Kop were their names. Hammer was larger but Kop undoubtedly wore the pants. They built their massive nest in our massive tree all day every day for two years. The garden was a real mess, sticks and stones everywhere, pieces of fabric, a child's sock, they even liked to find faeces with which to cement the nest together, and in garden housing a Great Dane, a Pointer , a Jack Russell and a Toy Pom, faeces were not hard to find !!

Our loyal horticulturist shook his head menacingly, muttering all the while under his breath, that they were nothing but bad luck but would dutifully lay out twigs, reeds and debris for them with which they could furnish their home.

Catering for their food requirements was another story, we purchased a pond and a series of gold fish and guppies. We enticed some of the noisy toads from the next door Koi Pond, and we harvested snails as an extra delicacy for them.

And so their survival was assured, they had building materials, copious food and the dogs were trained to ignore them, everything a breeding pair of Hammerkops could ask for but.....

They one day suddenly and unexpectedly decided life in idyllic suburbia was not too their liking, and left for greener pastures who knows where.

Leaving me with a garden full of snails, a pool full of noisy bullfrogs and a pond full of hundreds of hungry guppies !!

And so now the family knows its duties, its a full-on Snail Patrol every early morning , and its the battle of the bullfrogs every evening. Every evening our Loyal Horticulturist valiantly catches the indignant bullfrogs, puts them in a box and patiently transports them down to the Strench Trench (our affectionate term for the Matsheumhlope River !!) on the back of his bike in a box.

(Every morning I am sure they hop determinedly back up the road to our pond !!)

Every morning at the crack of dawn we assemble for snail patrol, but they do not get treated as gently as the frogs I am afraid. !!

As for the guppies, well, what can I say ? Anyone need guppies ?