Archive for July 11, 2011

Green Racoon

Posted in gardening, nature with tags , , , , on July 11, 2011 by darcyarts

Greening and growing, the vegetables are so beautiful!

All the doors are open and the cool morning air is flowing through. Yes! Cool morning air. It may only reach the mid-nineties today. I am not being sarcastic. Ninety-five is cool for this time of year in the far northern valley.

I put up chicken wire around most of the vegetables to protect them when they are young. I did not stick chicken wire guards around the catnip plants.

Catnip is strong and fast growing. These herbs were transplanted from my ugly, sun-bleached blue tubs.

Last week I noticed that one section of the thick stems was being torn up. There were offshoots ripped down and the thicker stems were trounced upon. I assumed this damage was the result of a kitty wriggling his way into a nice little open are right in the middle of the aromatic herb.

Just a short time after deciding that this made perfect sense I discovered something that offered a second possibility.

While turning the sprinkler around in the yard I came upon a strange pile of animal poop. It did not look like anything a dog or cat would produce though it was certainly of sufficient diameter to have come from a small to medium size canine. What was odd was that one spot had been used a number of times. The repeated visits have left a little mountain of waste product.

I did not take photos.

Closer examination of a fresh dropping (gushing?) seemed to contain small seeds, like those from figs or strawberries.  The landlord arrived while Frank and I were deep into our explorations. He came over and gave it a look.

“Racoon,” he said. “He’s probably up that tree.”

I was horrified. I find racoons to be grisly characters for a number of reasons.  They sound scary.

Early one morning I overheard a cat/racoon tussle right outside our bedroom window. The terrible noises woke me from a sound sleep.

Another time, before the break of dawn a mother racoon moved swiftly down our little road heading for the river. She had four babies, old enough to tag along behind her. One baby had wrecked back legs and had to drag them along. The mother seemed impatient and she growled that frightening sound while trying to get her brood to go faster. That chilled my blood. She didn’t seem to be particularly interested in the crippled, young racoon. It was painful to watch the little critter struggling to keep up with the group. There was probably little chance that the young thing survived.

I wonder if that mean mother is up the gigantic pine tree. I wonder if she sneaks out in the darkness, across the lawn and into my catnip plants.

Do racoons  eat tomatoes?