Ming's first stop is generally the backyard fountain. He seems to believe that it's the most suitable place to take liquid refreshment. Meanwhile Pipig reproachfully watches us from inside the house.
Then Ming either heads in the direction of the vegetable garden, waiting patiently for me to open the gate, or he heads back around to the side yard. On Thursday morning, he took the latter route, leading me to discover this:
|The hole beneath the Argyranthemum wasn't there the night before|
|An intruder had torn up a large space between the Gomphrena and the Dryms lanceolata|
The local raccoon had evidently paid us another visit. We discovered signs of the intrusion but not the intruder himself; however, his criminal behavior has a clear signature. Although I've continued to make liberal use of a non-toxic animal repellent, even the package says it's effective for no more than 2 months. I generally spread it around newly planted areas rather than established plants. On the good news side, on this occasion, the raccoon failed to destroy any plants in his persistent search for grubs. Last month, he tore an Agastache into 3 pieces. I planted each of the "divisions" he left me (twice, as he dug them back up when I failed to spread repellent after the first transplant).
The side yard wasn't the only area he visited. He also stopped by the dry garden, digging alongside a recently planted Penstemon 'Margarita BOP,' where the soil had been loosened. Luckily, no Penstemon or other plants were injured in the process.
And we discovered that he'd make a pilot hole in one of the raised planters in the vegetable garden, currently planted with snapdragons and sweet peas.
Ming carefully inspected the foliage in the front yard.
|He actually may have been after a lizard|
We headed back in the direction of the side yard.
Ming was tired and had to rest as we walked the path inside the hedge alongside the street.
|He's stopped at this exact spot to rest several times now - I assume that the cool moss is the attraction, rather than the drain pipes left by the prior owner|
And then he stopped to sharpen his claws, presumably to be prepared in case he met up face-to-face with the raccoon.
He checked the rest of the side yard.
Then, before I could tuck him back into the screened porch so I could go about my daily activities, he hid under the Ceanothus hedge in the front yard.
While he hid out, I tidied up after the raccoon and applied more repellent. Ming eventually strolled back to the porch, looking for his post-breakfast snack.