I thought maybe my Magnolia cone obstacle course might be having a positive effect.
|After planting a Dasylirion longissimum (aka Mexican grass tree), I used the prickly cones that fell from the Magnolia tree to create a barrier around it in what I thought might well be a futile effort to keep the raccoons from digging in this area|
The Magnolia cone barrier clearly wasn't impenetrable.
|Cones were knocked out of place and there was evidence of some digging but it wasn't extensive|
Then I noticed that cones had been moved, in large numbers, to the tree stump at the edge of our property. It didn't seem that the squirrels could be responsible - they ignored the area.
|The timing matched other evidence that one or more raccoons had visited overnight|
To test my theory that the raccoons were using the stump as a picnic table and my carefully constructed Magnolia cone obstacle course as their buffet, I removed all the cones I found on the stump, set up the area around the Dasylirion with new cones, and waited. Two mornings later, the raccoons' calling card in place around the fountain, the cones were back on the stump with smashed red seeds strewn about.
So, I guess the Magnolia cones served a purpose, if not the one I intended. They've distracted my uninvited visitors, giving them a new focus during their nightly foraging exercises. Still, in my book, eating the Magnolia seeds beats digging for grubs and destroying my planting beds.
Do you think they'll mind if I fill the decayed center of their picnic table with soil and plant it? I was thinking that a fern might be nice there.
All material © 2012-2015 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party