Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Wednesday Vignette: Intruders

It's Halloween but I'm not in a proper mood to celebrate.  Added to that, my pumpkin monster, created more than 2 weeks ago, developed a bad case of mold and had to be tossed in the compost bin a couple of days ago, when my husband declared that it wasn't even a suitable gift for the squirrels.

Instead, the sight of a trespasser sneaking through a fence, captured on camera, set the theme for this week's Wednesday Vignette.

This ornamental banana leaf managed to squeeze through the fence undetected.  I've been lopping stems like this off at periodic intervals for a year or more now so I guess it's time to ask the neighbor to cut it back on her side of the fence.


Another form of trespass was detected in the backyard garden.

The scrub jay is once again chasing away the smaller birds to steal seed from the feeders.  His weight on the feeder's perch closes the seed portal but that doesn't stop him (or the resident squirrels) from trying.


However, the most disconcerting intrusion in my garden of late was this one.

I walked into the house and saw this thing flying around outside.  It took me a moment to realize what it was.


Can you make it out?  Here's a closer view.



I'm trusting that last intrusion was an isolated event and probably utterly innocent.  The drone's operator, a visitor next door, may have been intent on capturing photos of his children.  In any case, it was shut down shortly after I charged outside and began stalking it with my own camera.  Ugh!  While I might enjoy employing a drone to photograph my own garden from above, I think any user needs to be hyper-sensitive to other people's privacy concerns and diligently avoid unsanctioned incursions.

Preventing a drone from flying over our property is difficult but last weekend I took some low-tech steps in the hope of preventing the local critters from ravaging the raised planters in my newly planted cutting garden.

After noting that the local botanic garden uses empty plastic flats to cover seedlings, I began saving these last year.  I used every one I had plus various cloches I purchased last year after rabbits made their first invasion to cover the soil in these raised beds in order to protect the seeds, tubers and plugs there.

I used metal pins to anchor the flats and cloches but I've no illusions that will be sufficient to hold off a determined raccoon.  If birds become an issue, I may need to add netting.  Rabbits aren't currently an issue as the coyotes appear to have eliminated that problem for the time being.


I hope your only intruders are trick-or-treaters.  Happy Halloween!  For more Wednesday Vignettes, visit Anna at Flutter & Hum.


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

30 comments:

  1. I have a coworker who flies/races drones and has talked about how it's so important to be careful where you fly. I love watching her videos of buildings and her MIL garden. I should have her film our garden at some point.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've thought of asking my husband to photograph the garden from our roof on one of his periodic forays up there but then I worry he might not pay attention to his feet and fall - and I'd never forgive myself. A drone might be safer but, for all the use it'd get, it's probably not a great investment for us.

      Delete
  2. Happy Halloween! The drone thing would make me mad! It's bad enough when I see a drone flying low over traffic and taking pictures inside my dashboard window. Ugh. I agree: People who use them need to be hypersensitive to people's privacy. It's just not right to invade it. I think we need more laws about these roving contraptions. They're wonderful and fascinating, but not when people use them in private spaces without permission. Your raised beds look excellent!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The drone did upset me once I realized what it was, Beth. If the guy flying it hadn't taken it down quickly once I started stalking its flight, I might well have made an issue of it right then.

      Delete
  3. Hopefully the drone issue will only be a one time thing. That would be really frustrating! Hope your raised bed protection strategies work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I still need more flats to cover those raised beds, Peter - as you know, it's hard to deter raccoons.

      Delete
  4. Our Shark Spotters use drones to observe which species. They make a point of flying the direct shortest distance across the beach, and then out to sea. Drones not allowed in national parks to avoid disturbing animals.
    And not over people's homes. How unpleasant!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Drones here are still largely unregulated I believe. The only law I know of related to the use of drones in Los Angeles County is one restricting their use near airports - and there are dingbats who do that anyway.

      Delete
  5. The banana leaf is funny. The Jay is typical. The drone is obnoxious!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think these drones are very scary...you just have no idea what they are really photographing. Technology indeed!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true. I chose to believe the guy visiting next door was focused on his kids but I really don't know what his intent was. Maybe he just got the drone as a gift and wanted to try it out - or maybe he's a snoop.

      Delete
  7. I am afraid I would enjoy the scrub jay.Now that banana leaf wouldn't bother me much either but I tell ya, the red neck in me would come out if a drone was hovering over my garden more than once. I believe I would shoot it down, put it on a pike on that fence to deter any other intrusions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband asked if I'd shot the drone down when he returned home and I told him about it. As I don't own a gun and don't want one, maybe I need to develop skills with a sling shot? Actually, banging on my next door neighbor's door would have been my next logical step.

      Delete
  8. Most intrusions are pretty benign and even enjoyable. But that drone...I wouldn't like that at all. If I saw it more than once, I'd have to grab it or hit it with a broom or something!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The drone moved off our property very soon after I strode outside and started snapping photos of it so I expect the operator had a feed and was able to see my reaction to it.

      Delete
  9. Now that drone would make my blood boil. Let's hope it is a one-time deal. For several summers a guy in an ultralight would fly over the house, so low I could see his face, which meant he could see mine was NOT pleased. I like my privacy!
    I hope your plant protection works!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The drone operator wasn't one of my neighbors, although I suspect he was a relative. Hopefully, he won't make a drone flight a regular ritual of his visits but, if he does, I'll have a conversation with my neighbor. I don't think she wants any ill will.

      Delete
  10. I like the turned over flat technique-clever and very cost effective..aka free ! Houses in my neighborhood are so close together and there are so many mature trees a drone would have a hard time navigating. I guess that's a plus. Unfortunately at some point I think these will have to be regulated, both for safety and privacy concerns.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another excuse to plant more trees! If only the blasted view conservation ordinance wasn't an issue here...

      Delete
  11. Whoa - that third intruder was the worst... I would HATE to see a drone hovering over us. That's just creepy... Your empty flat screening is genius - hope the coons leave them alone. That Fire stick Euphorbia is amazing - I bet it's as tall as I am!
    ~ Anna K

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 'Sticks on Fire' got cut back today at last, Anna. They're in a strawberry pot so that gives them an extra boost in height but that Euphorbia can get huge - I've seen photos of them standing equal with house roof lines.

      Delete
  12. Drones make me so angry. We live near a park with open space and so people are over there learning to fly them all the time. There noise alone is enough to make me crazy and then to think of them hovering over our house. Grrrr! We had one crash in the back garden a few years ago, it’s pieces went right into the trash.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was shocked when I realized what it was but, given how readily available drones are, I guess I really should be surprised that it took this long for them to show up in our neighborhood.

      Delete
  13. My sympathies about the invasions, particularly the drone!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Kris, at least the banana leaf made an interesting picture! The drone - another matter. I was in bed about midnight a few months ago (Lou was out of town, so I was alone) when suddenly a flashing light appeared to hover outside my window. Our house is very private, so I only have sheer curtains there. It took me a moment to realize this was a drone! Fortunately, it did not hang around long, and I haven't seen it since, but I was definitely disturbed by it. No idea where it came from, but suspect the neighboring residential area may have a peeping Tom. Creepy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's beyond creepy, Deb. I'd have called the cops and, if you have NextDoor or a similar neighborhood social media site, I'd have raised the flag there too (even though that's not something I'd recommend in most cases of questionable behavior on the part of neighbors). Regulations are definitely needed!

      Delete

I enjoy receiving your comments and suggestions!