Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wednesday Vignette: Welcome and Unwelcome Visitors

I've been hounded by unwelcome visitors of the furry variety all week.  Every morning is spent cleaning up after raccoons who seem undeterred by either rain or the active presence of coyotes in the neighborhood.  However, after filling holes, sweeping up dirt and replanting upturned succulents early this morning, I saw this:

Ladybug on the climbing rose, 'Joseph's Coat'


The rose, often blocked from view by my husband's truck, is the first to bloom in my garden this season.

The rose grows up the stone-fronted chimney above a grouping of succulents (previously featured in my favorite plant combinations post)


Unfortunately, annoying furry visitors don't confine themselves to nighttime stalking expeditions.  There are daytime stalkers as well.

I saw this fellow from my office window sitting on top of the Xylosma hedge staring intensely at something

Then he moved forward to the Ceanothus hedge

Then he sought a better view from the mimosa tree

A wider view shows the focus of his interest

Seconds later, his goal is achieved (but he looks disappointed to have found the feeder almost empty)


For more Wednesday Vignettes, visit Anna at Flutter & Hum.


All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party


18 comments:

  1. I love that beautiful shot of the ladybug on the rose. Just wonderful, thanks for sharing it.

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  2. My stepdad always laments that he wishes his grad students had even a fraction of the tenacity of the squirrels he always tries to outwit around his bird feeders. I love how you captured his scheming ways, and progressive moves! I can't help but admire them...

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    1. They are persistent. As I look out my window, he's back in the feeder - and staring in my direction with what I imagine is recrimination for my failure to refill "his" feeder. (I'm out of bird seed.)

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  3. The rose climbing up the chimney is just gorgeous!

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    1. That rose always amazes me. The bed it's in is less than a foot wide and it doesn't get a lot of water but it blooms more than any of my roses.

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  4. My take: squirrels = rats with tails. 'Nuff said.

    The rose is gorgeous and (at least to my eyes) unexpected at this time of year.

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    1. The rose, usually among the first to bloom, actually seems a bit late to bloom this year but perhaps my expectations have just been re-normalized - it was a bit colder this winter than it was the prior few years.

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  5. Grrrr. The latest addition to the tree rat family here has only half a tail. It doesn't seem to slow it down any.

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    1. They are resourceful! The metal pieces of the large feeder (with the ineffectual cage) is disintegrating so I just purchased a "squirrel buster" feeder to replace it. Of course, restricting access to the bird seed may lead to the squirrels focusing their attention on my Gazanias, which won't make me happy either.

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  6. The ladybug on the rose is beautiful! I've been considering trying a few roses now that the deer fence can protect them. 'Joseph's Coat' is definitely on the short list. Squirrels are so persistent. I used to enjoy watching the native Douglas squirrels fly off the spinning perch on a motorized bird feeder we have, until the motor wore down and one of them learned to wedge its body between the feeder and the perch.

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    1. I'm very pleased with that rose, Evan - I hope you'll be as satisfied.

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  7. Critters can be so annoying with their destruction. If they'd just visit without making such a mess we'd be happy to share, right? At least you had a good visitor--the sweet ladybug. Your 'Joseph's Coat' is absolutely stunning, especially with the way you have it pruned against the chimney. The succulents below add a lovely touch. I hope you're getting some decent rain. If not, I'm happy to share. :)

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  8. We got almost half an inch of rain yesterday, Grace. I was thrilled and my rain collection tanks are once again full.

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  9. Joseph's Coat does seem to be a winner, and I love peach colors in roses, so pretty. My roses are pretty variable in how much they bloom too. I was in a feed store and they had bird seed with hot pepper added somehow, apparently it bothered the squirrels but not the birds. I haven't tried that seed since we just use black sunflower seeds, and don't know how to apply cayenne to them.

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    1. This comment somehow slipped by me, Hannah - I'm sorry I didn't respond. I was in the wild bird food store (yes, LA has such things) earlier this week and they were pushing feed with hot pepper as a squirrel deterrent too. I'll have to try it, although my new "squirrel buster" feeder seems effective so far.

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  10. Sorry if I missed this but did you ever try motion detection sprinklers for the raccoons?

    I read your reply about the wire cages for gophers; voles tunnel through the top into the pots with the baptisias. Unlike mice, they won't or can't chew through plastic (maybe their front teeth are too big and it's awkward for them), but they have been digging through over an inch of gravel. :/ That used to be such a good deterrent too.

    The colors of Joseph's Coat are amazing.

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    1. I looked into the motion detection sprinklers at one time but I was led to understand that they're less effective in dealing with short animals like raccoons than they are with deer. Regardless, with drought restrictions on irrigation now in effect, I can't have sprinklers going off at odd intervals on "unauthorized" days.

      I hope you find the right solution to your vole problem! It does seem that, in time, the critters figure out ways to work around previously effective deterrents.

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