Why is this well-fed swamp wallaby expressing wry amusement?
Maybe she’s been observing a bamboo-grower’s attempts to keep her away from his new shoots. That’s always a hoot.
She calls humans Elmers. After Elmer Fudd, the farmer who was always losing out to the bunny. Maybe the grower has been dressing his new shoots in old stockings, or capping them with plastic bags, or running electric fencing round the grove. He may have acquired some miraculous and expensive deer-repellent over the internet. All the way from Colorado. More hilariously, Nature Boy may well have concocted an organic brew of garlic and wallaby dung and sprinkled it around. Dirty, silly Elmers.
The swamp wallaby is our main browser in this part of the world. These chewers (who can barge and jump to get what they crave) have special dentistry to match their dietary needs. A kangaroo or an ordinary red-neck wallaby will maybe nibble the grassy tuft from the top of a new shoot. The swampie waits till the shoot gets to eye height and demolishes it, wallaby poo and all.
The War on Browserism can only be won by Slop and Gore. Find out what your wallaby really hates and fears. Use it suddenly and in large amounts. But never, never go beyond the two/three week period when your shoots are vulnerable to attack. Wallabies are smart and adaptable. Never give them time to adapt by using your repellent substance anywhere else or at any other time. Shock ’em.
My annual Slop and Gore has worked well so far. Is it the blood-smell? Is it the fear of predators being attracted to the smell? I don’t know. But every year, at shooting time, I relentlessly apply blood-‘n-bone fertiliser. Not to the soil, but to every individual shoot. Thousands of shoots, every day if necessary. The fertiliser must be fresh, it must stink and it must cover the top and sides of the growing shoot.
You’ll read books that warn you never to apply such stuff directly onto a new, tender shoot. I’ve been doing it for a decade without the slightest prob.
The War on Browserism will not be won by reading books. This is what’s at stake: