Portland gardener's have had to water like crazy to keep everything alive. Even my huge walnut trees are showing stress. They will be fine. It's the small trees that need constant watering to help them through.
One benefit to all this heat is that my roses, tomatoes and water lilies have been looking great. The tomatoes are 7' tall, the roses have zero powdery mildew, and the water lilies have been pumping out big leaves and copious flowers.
I was even contemplating having an open garden. The grass is spotty, dead, and mostly beige and many of the flowers are past their prime, but I thought what the heck! It would be worth it just for people to see the water lilies.
|They were so beautiful!|
I do pride myself on my goldfish and water lilies. They are a unique feature of my garden and they make me happy. The water lilies were looking great until about two weeks ago!
Then the raccoons started raiding my ponds. They decided the "Lents Fish Buffet" was open for business.
Most know that raccoons (henceforth referred to as "Lil' F#$%-ers") are nocturnal carnivores and they can be quite a pest in the city, mainly getting into garbage cans, chicken coops and vegetable/fruit gardens.
Each of my smaller "ponds" has a "anti-raccoon prophylactic", which is a ring of rabbit fencing. The ponds are 3 x 40 gallon barrel liners, 5 x 70 gallon water dishes, and 2 x 100 gallon horse troughs.
The thought was that the rabbit fencing would keep the raccoons mostly out. The wires are close enough together to prevent their hands from getting too far in and I wrongly thought they wouldn't be able to climb over it.
In the past, over a summer the Lil' F#$%-ers would visit twice a summer. They would make a mess and rip up the water lilies but never actually got in the ponds.
|A traumatized lily.|
|A water lily "knot".|
|Harder to get into, but they still manage.|
|My new "One-Leaf" Lily|
This year the Lil' F#$%-ers seems to be smarter and/or more desperate, I'm sure due to the heat and lack of water and food. They have evaded the anti-racoon protection and actually gotten in the ponds, defoliating lilies and eating all the fish and Japanese snails. They have done this now three times in two weeks.
Last night at 12:30am, I was brushing my teeth in the bathroom and just happened to hear a Lil' F#$%-er trying to raid a pond on the back patio. I heard a loud splash, which was apparently either the raccoon equivalent of the "cannon ball" or perhaps the "nestea plunge".
Thankfully I was still dressed as I immediately yelled out the window screen and ran outside. The Lil' F#$%-er knew the jig was up and ran for the hills. Along the way I grabbed the only thing I could find, my 5" spider strainer, I use to scoop crap out of the ponds.
By the time I got back there the marauder was on the fence. It turns out there were actually a pair of them. One ran on the neighbor's shed roof and the other along the fence to the adjacent neighbor's house. It just sat on the fence mocking me and staring me down.
So, in the midst of my "raccoon rage", I grabbed the hose, turned it on full blast and gave the Lil' F#$%-er on the fence a face full of H2O, then the one on the roof got his just desserts.
I'm sure my neighbors were having a "wtf" moment as I was running around like a maniac cursing at raccoons. I was prepared to use my my 5" spider strainer as a ninja throwing star, but my aim is not so good (probably shouldn't have skipped so much gym in high school), so I thought better of actually throwing it.
I had every outdoor motion light and interior house light a-blazing, while I secured the perimeter.
After my raccoon rage simmered down a little, I bunked down in the Shedteau, hoping that if the Lil' F#$%-ers came back I would be right there ready to pounce with my broom and my ninja throwing strainer.
At 3am, my renter got up for work and all the lights in the house were on. I'm sure he thought "Mrs. Roper" finally went off the deep end.
I finally got into my own bed, the one actually in the house, at 3:15am and I think I slept until 6am. Every little noise waking me up. I barely slept.
Boy, I'm pooped... Sorry job, I'm too tired to work at work today. I think I need a nap today for lunch.
On the way home today, I will be stopping at Home Depot for more wire. I'm going to make lids for the raccoon condoms. I'm also stopping at the fabric/craft store for bells to hang off the wire. The bells will wake me right away and announce the Lil' F#$%-ers have come for another visit.
Upon hearing this story, a friend remarked that "crazy is essential when protecting something you love."
So let's get crazy! Perhaps the bat shit kind?!?