Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Poor Lilacs

My thoughts have been preoccupied and troubled, the past few days. You see, the lilac's have been severely attacked, ..shredded like cat scratching posts, as you can see from the photos, especially when you zoom in. The whole lilac bed is like this, some trunks worse than others. Quite near the lilacs, the red horse chestnut (Aesculus x carnea ‘Briotii’) has been attacked as well, even though it is surrounded by wire to keep rabbits away. The damage is much to high up for rabbits unless of course, they fly or climb.

This brings me to something I did not mention on blog when it happened a few weeks back...I saw a bobcat cross the road, very near where we live. We didn't discover our garden damage until a walk about with D and D on Sunday. On Monday, we phoned the Dept. of Natural Resources to find out what we could do to deter the animal..it was then that I found out another driver, had reported the same sighting although he believed it to be a cougar.

We have..or rather, had... a bird feeder nestled protectively, nearby and I suspect, the mice were attracted to the lost seed among the grass below and ..the cat was attracted to the mice. Of course, without photos, I can't confirm that it was the bobcat that shredded the lilacs, and damaged the Chestnut, but I strongly believe it was and it is consistent with their behavior according to Department of Natural Resources.

Having one of Nova Scotia's wild animals in the vicinity, in our woodland area, arouses more wonder than fear. I wouldn't want to lose my Beauty of Moscow and other lilacs though, so fabric smelling of bleach, as recommended by Natural Resources, will hopefully arrest any further scent marking.

Otherwise, our weather has been pleasingly warm and the air is full of the richest aroma of sea, salt, autumn leaves and moist earth. A truly hard frost, that blackens all, has not arrived yet but it is time to put away all the clay pots, make sure each and every bulb is tucked in and above all..keep up inspection!


  1. I can relate to discovering this kind of damage as no matter how many precautions I take, the rabbits always manage some magnolia destruction each year. This fall it's a combination of raccoons, opossums, and skunks digging out perennials and newly installed bulbs. I imagine your lilacs will come through this quite well... and there is always the option of cutting them back to a few inches... I generally get a goodly bloom after three seasons... of course it takes a while to get those beautiful trunks back... I hope your solution is effective... L

  2. Well Brenda, I have seen similar things here after my sighting of a bobcat. I will look now more carefully after reading your post. Your lilacs will recover if they have not be damaged all the way around the girth. ;>)

  3. Wow, a bobcat--what a trip! I had no idea that they could cause that kind of damage. We've got them here as a well, but being an animal lover I am OK with it and look for them to photograph. They're so elusive, however, that I've had no luck even though we see their signs (scat).

    We also have a population of foxes, bear, and controversial sightings of cougars. The latter has NOT been verified by the Dept. of Natural Resources. A common attitude is that the DNR is in denial since it will cost them quite a bit state wide for cougar education if they confirm their existence.

    Regardless, good luck and be careful!