Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Wednesday Video Vignette: Wrangling with a drip irrigation system

Alternative titles for this post might be: "A raccoon's version of tug of war" or "The raccoon takes umbrage".  Regular readers of my blog know that the local raccoons visit my garden, and more specifically our backyard fountain, quite often.  When we were away for 3 days in August, one pulled the fountain apart.  Late last week, I found some of the rubber tubing from the drip irrigation surrounding the fountain discarded several feet away.  After verifying that my husband hadn't pulled it out for unknown reasons, we checked our security video and caught the culprit in action.

The raccoon's visit started as usual with a check on the contents of the fountain but, on his dismount, it appears that a paw was caught by the irrigation tubing and he took offense.  A battle ensued (interrupted by a very brief fixation on a seashell).  View in full screen for a clearer picture of the battle.



Last night, after I'd drafted this post, my husband and I heard a funny noise.  I assumed that cat was up to no good in the kitchen but, having also heard the noise, she was staring out the window into the back garden.  A moment later, 2 large raccoons strolled by the living room windows headed out of sight as she hissed at them from the safety of the house.  Had the first raccoon called on his brother to help in the next game of tug of war?  Who knows.  I suspect they'll be back soon in any case.

This is my Wednesday Vignette.  For more images that captured the attention of bloggers this week, visit Anna at Flutter & Hum.


All material © 2012-2018 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

32 comments:

  1. I think the raccoons think you are the interlopers in their garden!

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    1. Oh, that's undoubtedly true, Denise. I'm sure the coyotes, squirrels, rabbits and lizards agree.

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  2. Forgive me for laughing. You know I battle raccoons too. Maybe he thought he had caught the biggest snake ever. I'm sure he went home to his family with quite a tall tale.

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    1. I suspect they're naturally pugnacious creatures, Alison. I noticed that one of the duo visiting last night turned around to confront Pipig when she was hissing on the other side of the glass - he retreated only when I showed up behind her.

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  3. Once we got rid of fish in our pond they stopped bothering us quite as much. I hear them at night and find little piles of poop as their gift currently.

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    1. Oh, I get the gifts of poop too - they especially like to leave those in the cavities of one or another of the 2 decaying tree trunks we have in the garden, almost like they're toilets designed specifically for them. The thing that gets me about the fountain is that there's nothing alive in there, unless you count algae and I've even kept that at bay since we cleaned it out in August.

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  4. Sheesh! Where was that newspaper stealing Coyote when you needed him?

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    1. I think the raccoons and coyotes have some kind of deal regarding time-share of our property, HB.

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  5. We saw so many on our recent camping trip. One even followed me down the road back from the bath house for a while. This video was hilarious! He was either really mad at the hose, or thought he had caught himself a gigantic snake!

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    1. He certainly seemed irritated that he couldn't pull the tubing from its mooring! You gotta give him credit for persistence, though.

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  6. That was cute to watch, but I'm sure not to you. He certainly was determined.

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    1. Oh, I was amused this time, Cindy. I was less tolerant when he pulled the hosing out of the middle of the fountain itself and redistributed the seashells in the upper tier all around the garden - that incident required taking the entire fountain apart. Admittedly, the fountain did need a cleaning, so maybe he was just trying to push us into action.

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  7. That was quite a tussle with the tubing. We also deal with raccoons on a regular basis and they often make a huge mess. At least it didn't break the fountain. There's not a good solution even if you relocate them others will move in.

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    1. I'm not sure we're permitted to relocate them under local ordinance and I wouldn't want to deal with a trapped raccoon anyway. What's odd is that 2 of them, siblings I assume, are still foraging together. I thought they were solitary hunters. I suppose I should count myself lucky, though - there were originally 3 of them.

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  8. Little rascal... he sure taught that hose a lesson!

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    1. At least he didn't damage the tubing as he previously did with the piece he (or his sibling) pulled from the fountain itself. My husband clamped that piece at the base of the fountain when we put it back together so hopefully there'll be no repeat performance there.

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  9. Such fun to watch! but not, I am sure, to find the next morning. Amazing what goes on at night, isn't it??? So, what can you do to keep them away? I've never had racoons....

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    1. I've tried everything under the sun to send them packing, Libby. I've used off-the-shelf animal repellents, home-made repellents, walking through the garden every evening before bed-time, playing a radio outside overnight, etc. Nothing really works. They don't dig up my beds like they once did but that's probably because, when we removed all our lawn, the population of grubs in the soil declined. Why they insist on visiting the fountain when there are no fish or any other edibles there, I don't know. They do eat snails and slugs - it's their one positive service.

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  10. I just about had a fit of the giggles watching this video. That is one well fed racoon. Quite a large garden pest. I can imagine the devastation they, the two of them, could cause in a garden. You need to sit out on the patio with a 12ga shotgun. Whoops my country roots are showing.

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    1. It's difficult to say how hefty they are, Lisa, as they're very fluffy creatures. But I think the 2 currently whooping it up in my garden are still young and in the prime of their raccoon lives. It's cars on the local roads that usually take them out.

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  11. Wow - what a persistent little rascal.... I know we have raccoons here too, as our cat was bitten by one a few months ago. The cat had to visit the vet after that, but I haven't seen them do much damage in the garden. I'd almost rather they'd stick to the greens...
    ~ Anna K

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    1. Yikes! They can carry disease so it's a good thing you took the cat to a vet. Pipig puts on a fiercely grand show from inside the house but her hiss is louder than her bite.

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  12. Oh good heavens! They are destructive little buggers, aren't they? How interesting (fun?) to have them on the camera. We occasionally have raccoon visitors, but we've never had much damage. They used to play in the pond at night, so we had to install a grated heavy lid. It doesn't look as nice, but they can't lift it. Crazy animals!

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    1. They used to wreak havoc on a larger scale here, Beth, but removal of the lawn and a corresponding decrease in the number of grubs, their favorite delicacy, has reduced the scope of their destruction. They're now focused primarily on the fountain - apparently water is a great draw, even when it contains no food. The attraction must be hard-wired into their brains.

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  13. Good lord, he just wasn’t going to give up! I’m surprised there wasn’t significant damage to the surrounding plants. Jerk.

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    1. They're tenacious critters, that's for sure!

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  14. I've given up on growing water plants, they drag them out of the water, and shred them into ribbons, leaving the decimated pots all over the patio. I've tried to go out and shoo them away, but they just puff up and hiss back at me, baring their teeth. The adults are about 20-25 pounds, so I don't like to get too close! Sue

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    1. Your local raccoons seem even feistier than mine, Sue! I've had them attempt a brief stare-down but I haven't seen any bared teeth.

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  15. Good thing Pipig was safe inside the house. The racoons here aren't so fond of a shot from the hose. Destructive little buggers!

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    1. I've never gotten the hose out, Peter, but it sounds like a good strategy!

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  16. That is hilarious! Raccoons ocassionally create mischief around here, too. They are very intelligent animals, but they can be so destructive.

    I tried to comment several times a few days ago on your Newport Beach Gardens post, but I see none went through. Tried again today with no luck. This one seems like it will work.
    At any rate, I enjoyed that post! Sometimes I dream of a small, contained garden, but I suspect I would soon become bored with it. The first garden area with the outdoor fireplace was lovely; I wish my own patio was similar! However, it is hard to call it a garden. I would need another space for plants. I also like Sherman Gardens. But for the most charming, tiny garden, I vote for the earrings! Temps here are still very warm, but I am feeling some cool breezes. Fall must be on the way!
    Best wishes,
    Deb

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    1. I'm sorry you had problems in posting comments to the earlier post, Deb. I know how frustrating that can be as it's happened to me a bit of late. I lifted my restriction on anonymous commentators when Google made its last update to Blogger so, if you run into any problems in the future, you can make that election and perhaps just add you name or your blog name to your comment so I know it's you.

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