It is the time to put the final touches on getting my yard ready for the winter. The grass has gotten its last "burr-cut" waiting for its herbal hibernation. All the transplanting has been done, and I've trimmed back the scrubs and trees. Everything is done but one thing-putting out the fox urine.

I have put off this final activity until now for several reasons. This is the first time that I have worked with fox urine and am not sure the best way of handling it. Another issue is that I wanted to wait until the weather worsened enough to force humans inside behind tightly closed windows. Having no experience with fox urine, I don't know what the aroma would be like. Therefore, as my Thanksgiving dinner plans are being formulated, I am in the process of placing fox urine around my yard. I only hope that no one will get a whiff of the fox as they come for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner.

Those of you who aren't ecologically savvy are probably wondering about the inclusion of fox urine in my yard. Last winter, I noted with a great deal of consternation that the local rabbit population nearly decimated my scrubs-nibbling them back to the trunks. "Those rascally rabbits" had violated my territoriality and had eaten years of growth away from several plants.

I resolved mid-winter last year that those fury herbificous chewers weren't going to use my yard as their larder again. The only question was how to stop them. I could blow their heads off with a shotgun, I could trap them, I could put dried blood or mothballs all around, or I could construct wire fences around all my plants. None of the above options were desirable for various reasons. Therefore, out I trod on a chilly November day to spread a little fox urine around my yard.

You are probably wondering about the value of using fox urine around the yard. Fox urine is an environmentally safe means by which I plan to protect my wintering vegetation. Scientific research has determined that certain destructive animals that eat bushes and shrubs will avoid them if the smell of a particular predator is present.

For example, you can see by consulting the predator-prey index that if you are troubled by mice or muskrats then you would use bobcat urine. Or if you have problems with wild boar eating your evergreens then you would put out mountain lion urine. With my problem with rabbits, fox urine is what is necessary. Not only does this shoo away bunnies, but if a stray wood chuck, skunk, squirrel, or chipmunk were to venture in, the fox urine will send an aromatic shot past its nostrils warning them that a fox is in the neighborhood. The urine places fear in the hearts of those little critters. They know that they risk being brutally pulled apart limb from limb and tearing out each of their internal organs one at a time until death and devouring occurred. This horrific warning will surely stops them in their tracks.

As I placed the urine containers around at strategic spots, I paused to reflect upon the predator-prey index. I am convinced that urine will work. However, is there much difference between the urine of say a fox than a coyote? Are those bunnies that frequented my scrubs fearful of a fox and not a coyote? I can't imagine some little bunny foo-foo getting a whiff of terror in the urine of a fox and not be equally fearful of a coyote, bobcat, wolf, or mountain lion. One would think that my herbivorous bunnies would not venture any further regardless of what animal's urine was placed around my yard.

My naturalistic ponderings were abruptly suspended, because I accidentally spilled some of the fox urine repellant on my fingers. I will return to this discussion after I am free of the aroma now impregnated into every pore several fingers-it may be awhile.