Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Talisman or Attractant?

For Christmas, one of my friends gave me this:

She painted the features of a raccoon on a smooth black rock


Last week, another friend gave me this:

She found it during a post-holiday sale and thought of me


The question is: are they talismans or attractants?

This morning, in a brief stroll around the garden, I found this:




There was a lot more but I think the evidence is in.  Cute they may be but my raccoon effigies aren't talismans.  Pipig wasn't impressed either.

Pipig found the raccoon in "her" spot (where she likes to sit and stare at me while I'm at the computer) so she bit Rachel Raccoon's ear


 All material © 2012-2015 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

28 comments:

  1. Oh dear. Have you tried sticking pins in it?
    Love your night time view.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. The raccoons are clearly a fact of life here so I guess I need to accept the fact and find ways to work around them.

      Delete
  3. I'm with Jessica. What harm could a bit of voodoo do? Try saying that after a few beers :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I probably shouldn't admit it but I had a voodoo doll at one time. It was a gift from a co-worker, who heard me threaten to take up the practice many times when dealing with impossible executives. I did use it once. Didn't work though.

      Delete
  4. Like Jessica, I think you need an effigy that you can stick pins.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sticking pins in something does have value as a temporary stress reliever (see note above). Sadly, it didn't prove effective in preventing future behavior.

      Delete
  5. If the pins don't work, what about painting a big target symbol on both of them? Suspend by hangman's noose from nearest tree? :(

    Rodents! Grrrrr!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, I'm trying out use of the thorny remains of rose bushes. It's too early yet to claim success but the critters have stayed away from an area I covered with pruned canes.

      Delete
  6. Your painted stone is adorable. I have one in my garden too. I guess the raccoon with its cute back and white face makes a perfect subject. Sometimes my stone gets turned over!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My stone got pushed around too. I told my friend, the artist, about that and she suggested I might want to use it to throw at the annoying creatures. However, if I was willing to stay up all night to watch for them, I probably wouldn't have a problem in the first place.

      Delete
  7. Ooh, warn Pipig to be wary of the real ones... :( It's a pity that such cute animals are so destructive around the garden and house. (And the only thing I know that's cuter than baby racoons are baby skunks!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pipig is an indoor cat, although I do let her out under supervision for 5-10 minutes every morning. I've seen no raccoons at those hours but baby skunks apparently can't tell time.

      Delete
  8. I was working at our dining table today and looked up when I saw motion along the front walkway. At first I thought it was the neighbors cat, then I realized it was too big and wearing a mask. A racoon in the middle of the day, disturbing. And it was huge, easily 30-35 lbs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's odd. My husband saw one in our front driveway mid-afternoon last week but he said it looked like a juvenille. Adult raccoons usually stick to the cover of night but we've noticed that the coyotes in our area are working extended hours during daylight too. Possibly a response to food shortages?

      Delete
  9. Oh Kris, I feel for you, we have voles the odd rat and a cat pooping here, none of which I enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We all do have our challenges, don't we? My sister-in-law, who was down from Northern California this week, told me about the bears and mountain lions that stroll through her garden, tearing apart her chicken coop and consuming her chickens. By comparison, we're both lucky!

      Delete
  10. We, gardeners often say we want to attract wildlife into our gardens but from experience we're quite choosy about what comes. I don't know what you could do about the raccoons but do they have a natural predator, if there was you could put the scent of that around and hopefully deter them. I love your night time view too, it seems closer than during daylight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wouldn't it be nice if only cute furry critters who ate snails and dug up weeds visited?! The only natural predator in our area is the coyote. Unfortunately, the local coyotes seem to prefer household pets to grappling with raccoons. The deterrent granules I use are supposed to have coyote urine in them but, if that's the case, the raccoons have learned to ignore it. They're pretty feisty creatures. I think I need to leave to live with them.

      Delete
  11. I think you have 2 friends with a very mischievous sense of humour. They are beautiful creatures though. It seems so exotic having racoons in the garden, what a pity they are so destructive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are pretty creatures and, angry as I get when they tear things up, it still breaks my heart every time I see a dead one on the road (which is a fairly frequent occurrence). My frustration stems mainly from my repeated failures to thwart them. But I keep trying! Thorny stems pruned from rose bushes are showing promise, as are Magnolia tree cones covering empty areas between plants.

      Delete
  12. The raccoons that visit here are typically more interested in raiding the compost heap than bothering with digging for grubs (or whatever they are doing when they dig around roots). That said I have completely stopped using fish emulsion preparations to feed plants because the raccoons cannot resist digging to find the source of the smell. Seaweed emulsions don't seem to interest them so much.

    And now I'm envisioning indigenous Americans sitting with bow and arrow guarding their corn crops after burying a fish by each young stalk. Maybe it is time for more coffee....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My compost material goes into a drum raised off the ground but maybe it'd be worthwhile to create an open pile as a diversion, Deb. I hadn't thought about the draw fish emulsion could have - I did use that quite a bit last year, although not in the area they favor for digging that I recall. Killing the grubs off would help - I didn't get the milky spores formula I bought applied before summer ended so perhaps I'll try the beneficial nematodes. Nightly patrols are an option I can't quite bring myself to adopt...

      Delete
  13. I agree pins in the effigies or perhaps put them outside with the others....might scare them off but I doubt it....relentless buggers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure anything scares raccoons. I had to walk within 2 feet of one recently to scare it off. Even if they do run off, they come back later...

      Delete
  14. Sorry to hear that you are still having trouble with raccoons! That must be very frustrating. The gifts you received are very cute though. The face of the statute reminds me of my Jack Russell.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My friend did a great job painting the stone. I thought she's purchased it somewhere until I turned it over and found her signature on the back.

      Delete

I enjoy receiving your comments and suggestions. However, with apologies to bona-fide commentators, due to a significant increase in spam, I've eliminated the option to post comments anonymously.