Monday, February 7, 2011

MOTH's Revenge

As much as MOTH's a sensitive sorta guy & he likes to think he's in touch with his inner MOTH, I've only ever seen him close to tears twice. Once was last year when Liam Jurrah, Melbourne Footy Club's most promising recruit in about 100 years, did his shoulder in a pre-Season practice game with the Adelaide Crows & was out for 16 weeks. The other time was 2 Summer's ago, when the poor darling (MOTH, not Liam!) stormed into the kitchen from the garden screeching at top note 'Those bloody possums are in for it!!!'

It transpired that in a well planned overnight raid, MOTH's entire fledgling tomato crop had been totally decimated by a group of marauding possums. Weeks of daily TLC had gone into what was looking to be his best-ever crop. He was desolate for weeks.

His heart wasn't in it in 2009, but late last year he came home one day with a heap of seedlings, announcing that he was growing tomatoes this year & the possums were on notice.

As most long-time Hedgies know, MOTH has turned our old Tennis Court into his 'allotment'. He grows my Christmas & Asiatic lillies in their pots down there, has all his Winter firewood 'curing' in rotating piles undercover ready for our Winter fires & does the occasional vegie or 3 in containers. This time around, he's decided to experiment & grow his tomato crop in old fertilizer bags full of his own special herbs & spices recipe of vegie potting mix.

He's planted a mixture of Tigerella's & Black Russian's & so far they have done really well. But I was getting worried that the possums were sitting up in the big trees with their binoculars firmly fixed on the crop & voiced my concerns on Saturday night. 'No worries Mills,' was the confident reply 'I've got it all in hand. No possum is going to get the better of me, just you wait & see.' So when he jumped out of bed at 6a.m. yesterday & I heard the screen door slam, I knew he was up to something. 3 hours later he emerged from down the back, gleefully announcing 'Mills, come & see what I've done!!' So I dutifully padded down to the Court in my trackie dacks, still clutching the Sunday papers, to be greeted with the edifice in the first image.

MOTH had fashioned together a fancy covered frame for his precious tomato plants using a whole heap of stuff he'd scrounged from the Stirling Rubbish Tip. Old metal struts, lengths of discarded purple pipe from some failed irrigation scheme that the boys from the Tip had put to one side for him & a whole heap of bird netting one of the local Vineyards had chucked out. To say he was triumphant was an understatement!!

I can even see it through the trees from our back verandah, which of course means that our long-suffering neighbours, C & K can too from the salubrious surroundings of their flash new deck - oh dear! That'll cost MOTH a carton of Stella, C's favourite tipple to smooth things over. I have a mental picture of the possums all in a huddle up in the tree plotting their next move. As much as MOTH reckons he's got 'em licked, I reckon it's game on. Stay tuned for the next round in the game of MOTH vs.The Possums!!!



  1. Very impressive, my money's on MOTH for sure!! :)

  2. How I remember the possum war....MOTH will mother always won! xv

  3. What a cute story! Add a basket of the tomatoes to the Stella and I'm sure all neighbors will forget any ill feelings! haha.

    We had a mother raccoon and 3 babies that ate all my strawberries one year...48 plants worth of strawberries! Ugh. Please send MOTH to OHIO,USA in a few months when I plant again. ha.

  4. What a fabulous contraption MOTH has fashioned.....I really missed his lessons in Christmas present wrapping this/last year but this has made up for it !!!!
    I am amazed at MOTH's ability to turn his hand to anything and, do it so well. I think that those possum's will be moving on to another garden and someone else's tomato plants that aren't so well protected.
    There will be lots of tom's for tea soon Mill's.I have complete faith in MOTH's handiwork. XXXX

  5. I know how Moth feels.
    We didn't have any trouble with possums until our neighbour decided to install nesting boxes a few years ago! Every night we hear the possums romping across our roof to get to our climbing roses which normally shade our kitchen in Summer.
    I've just been reading about pest X spikes from and are going to get some. I figure anything is worth a try.
    BTW, about Moth being a jackaroo....can he shoot? I think out in the bush this is how they would deal with possums!!
    Have a lovely week Millie.
    Pamela xx

  6. MOTH the gardening genius; absolutely brilliant. I just hope that MOTH wins hands-down, possums are such sneaky, creepy tailed creatures.

    My money too is on the MOTH!

    : D deb

  7. Game on indeed. Lets just watch and wait...

  8. Those possums can be so destructive. I guess that's why they're considered a pest here and not protected. Well done MOTH. I'm sure they're not a match for our hero!
    Hope you're feeling better Millie. Xx

  9. What a man that MOTH is! Love the netting construction, but I'm afraid to say I don't know what a possum looks like, so I'm off to google the little darlings.

  10. I'll trade you possums for our armadillos! They are everywhere and making a mess of any soil, garden, or plants they dig in. Deer are bad too - we lost a LOT of young apple and pear trees last year. I like MOTH's contraption - good luck with it!

  11. Oh Millie, I just found your wonderful blog and so enjoyed your sense of humor. I can't wait to hear more of Moth's adventures, so I am now a follower.

  12. Yay MOTH!! You married the perfect man. Not only does he grow tomatoes, but he goes to the tip to get the used materials to make a shelter for them. Sigh. Be still my beating heart ;-)

    In the mean time, you can also do a stake out armed with pillows. I belted a poor unsuspecting possum for six out of my window once when the poor fella had the misfortune of waking me in the middle of the night. Me half asleep thinking my 2nd storey room was being invaded by muggers or burglars - I just acted without thinking.

    Maybe there's a sweet night out on the lawn for you both Mills!!

  13. Those pesky possums. We have them, too. And deer. And ground hogs. I gave up on tomatoes years ago. Maybe I should give the MOTH method?


And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart.
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
~W.H. Auden

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