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作者:佚名    文章来源:本站原创    更新时间:2018/4/14

When we moved to a guest ranch in the High Rockies,1 I was thrilled to live among the wildlife. Every day was a mountain safari: Great horned owls(大雕鸮)swooped across the yard.2 A spotted bobcat(短尾猫)perched3 in a tree. Jack rabbits(长耳大野兔)froze mid-dash to curl up into balls, immediately camouflaged as large, gray stones.4 Elk(麋鹿)thundered past5 the window at night. A bald eagle(秃鹰)coasted6 in the clouds. It was all just heavenly!
  Until I planted a garden.
  The tulips(郁金香)never stood a chance.7 I began searching for signs of them in April. I waited impatiently until the last blizzard8 finished in May—late May. Still no tulips. Curious, I decided to dig them up. Had they frozen? Were they duds9? No. They were gone. In their place was a network of tunnels10. Apparently, the bulbs11 had provided a fancy rodent(啮齿动物)dinner.
  That afternoon, I saw deer leaning heavily against my garden fence, forcing the metal mesh12 closer to the greens. They jammed their muzzles through the fence holes, noosed the stalks with their tongues, and vacuumed up each and every sprout in the garden.13 Goodbye, baby sunflowers.
  I decided to get serious. I consulted experts at the local garden center. My fence grew taller and sturdier14. I dug down 12 inches to seat the mesh underground, blocking burrowing interlopers.15 My children decorated it with shiny, colorful pinwheels16 to discourage birds. I congratulated everyone on a job well done.
  But we were not prepared for the chipmunks(花栗鼠).
  The chipmunks darted17 in and out of the tiny holes in the fencing. They scampered up and over my fortified barricade.18 Those striped bandits carried off their edible loot and stashed it in their colony in our rock wall.19 The daisies(雏菊)were beheaded, the gaillardia(天人菊)decimated.20 The black-eyed Susans(金光菊)never recovered. It’s a good thing chipmunks are so adorable. I spotted one drinking from a recently watered leaf. Awww!
  I grew more determined. I sprayed fox urine at the advice of one friend, laid out piles of chicken feathers at the behest of another.21 I even spread out clumps22 of fur from our Great Pyrenees(大白熊犬)after her summer shave. The chipmunks didn’t care.
  I surveyed the damage. The oriental poppies(罌粟花)were still viable—they had large, ferocious spikes on their leaves, and they would be beautiful.23 But something was missing: every single bud24. What are poppies without blooms?


“Nice thistles(蓟), Mommy,” my daughter giggled.
  In a fit of desperation, I dipped every new flower bud in cayenne pepper.25 Later that day, I found a large bud lying on the ground, abandoned after only two bites. Aha! Could this be the answer? A late-night thunderstorm washed away my rising hopes, along with the pepper.
  I returned to the garden center and commiserated26 with the saleslady. “The wildlife!” I complained.
  “I know,” she agreed. “They’re relentless27. At my house, the deer even eat the yucca(丝兰)plants.”
  I was dumbfounded28. “The yuccas?” How in the world could they conquer that plant?
  “They chew up and down the spikes like corn on the cob29,” she said. “It completely destroys them.”
  I had to admit, that was pretty impressive. What could you do if even yuccas weren’t safe?
  I wallowed in the anguish of defeat.30
  I was hauling31 laundry past our sliding glass doors when I saw it: a mommy chipmunk nursing her baby. I froze, perfectly shielded by the curtain. I saw the little animal balance on one front paw and use the other to cradle32 the baby. All my mothering instincts kicked in. “OK,” I told her. “You can have whatever you want. I know you’re eating for five.”
  The fence came down. The garden became an open banquet in honor of the wildlife we loved. Each new plant was an experiment. Forget the “experts”—the neighborhood wildlife indicated their own gustatory33 preferences. At the end of summer, we carefully tallied the results: My purple Russian sage(鼠尾草)had been nibbled, but was otherwise thriving—declined by chipmunks.34 Nobody bothered the white yarrow(蓍草), either, although other colors were evidently delicacies. The columbine(耧斗菜)was abundant—no wonder it’s Colorado’s state flower!
  In the spirit of trial and error35, we planted daffodil(水仙花)bulbs, carefully marking each location with a tag. My four-year-old surveyed his work: “Mommy, do you know what those little signs are for? They tell the animals not to eat these plants!”
  I had to smile. Someone had been paying attention, but the game had changed.
  “Actually, honey, they advertise the newest entrées36 offered at our family garden buffet.”
  We’ll have to wait until spring to receive the reviews.
  1. ranch: 牧場;High Rockies: 美国西部科罗拉多州的一个地区,多为落基山脉(Rocky Mountains)较为崎岖的山区景观。
  2. safari: (猎兽)旅行,游猎;swoop: (鸟类或飞机)向下猛冲。

 3. perch: 栖息,就位。
  4. dash: 猛冲,飞奔,这里mid-dash是指在跑的过程中;camouflage: // 伪装,掩饰。
  5. thunder past: 轰隆隆地从……旁边经过。
  6. coast: v. 滑行。
  7. 郁金香从来没有活下来过。stand a chance: 有机会,有希望。
  8. blizzard: 暴风雪。
  9. dud: 无用的东西。
  10. tunnel:(动物挖的)洞穴,通道。
  11. bulb:(植物的)球茎,鱗茎。
  12. mesh:(用线或金属丝编织的)网状物。
  13. 它们将口鼻挤进围栏的空隙中,伸出舌头将植物的茎卷入口中,将花园里的新芽一扫而光。muzzle:(动物的)口鼻部;noose: 用套索捕捉,使落入圈套;stalk:(植物的)茎,秆;vacuum:用吸尘器吸;sprout: 新芽。
  14. sturdy: 结实的。
  15. burrow: 挖掘,挖洞;interloper: 闯入者。
  16. pinwheel: 纸风车。
  17. dart: 猛冲。
  18. scamper: 蹦蹦跳跳;fortified: 加固的,增强的;barricade: 路障。
  19. 这些身上长着斑纹的小土匪将能吃的“赃物”运走,并藏在我家石墙中它们的洞穴里。bandit: 强盗,土匪;edible: 可食用的;loot: 赃物,战利品;stash: 藏匿;colony: (同类人的)聚居地。
  20. behead: 斩首;decimate: 糟蹋,大量毁灭。
  21. spray: 喷洒;urine: 尿;behest: 命令,吩咐。
  22. clump: 堆,团。
  23. 东方罂粟花仍然是可以存活的——它们的叶子上有大而锋利的尖状突起。这种花将长得格外美丽。viable: 能存活的,能生长发育的;ferocious: // 危险的,可怕的;spike: 尖状物。
  24. bud: 花蕾。
  25. a fit of: 突然一阵;cayenne pepper:辣椒粉。
  26. commiserate: 怜悯,同情。
  27. relentless: 不间断的,无休止的。
  28. dumbfounded: 惊呆的,目瞪口呆的。
  29. cob: 玉米棒子。
  30. wallow: 沉湎于(绝望、失败、自怜等);anguish: 悲痛。
  31. haul: (费力地)拖运。
  32. cradle: 轻抱。
  33. gustatory: // 品尝的,味觉的。
  34. 夏末时分,我们仔细地记录着结果:我的紫色俄罗斯鼠尾草被啃掉了些许,却生长得分外茁壮,可见金花鼠渐渐对它失去兴趣了。tally: 计算,记录;nibble: 啃,一点一点地咬。
  35. trial and error: (为求完善的)反复试验,试错法。
  36. entrée: 正餐前的开胃菜。

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