Garden critters captured on camera

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Daylight Robbery

As British Columbia’s draught continues, the water feature in my garden has become an oasis in an otherwise parched neighbourhood.

A family of chicka-dee-dee-dees greet me in the morning, begging for fresh tree nuts and splashing about in the faux stream. I chase after the ubiquitous grey squirrels, filling in the dozens of holes they’ve dug searching for lost treasures. And here we thought they were smart.

Of course, watering is imperative for fauna and flora, as we enter a stage 4 drought. With watering restrictions in place in many jurisdictions, lawns wither. No problem here: I have transcended the lawning instinct. Tomato cultivation is another thing.

It’s a constant struggle to keep these thirsty fruit/berry hydrated, restricted as they are to containers. Even so, they are growing by leaps and bounds, especially the “cherry” variety illustrated above. The wire basket embedded in the pot is also not enough to support the growing weight of laden branches; I’ve had to reinforce some with canes.

Headless Carnations

Headless Carnations

Now back to the fauna. The cheeky chap pictured above has apparently forgotten he’s a nocturnal creature, turning up at high noon to drink from the water feature (see below) and getting  up to goodness knows what other mischief when I’m not there to supervise.

For instance, I suspect he (or she) is responsible for the mysterious loss of all carnation blossoms this year. No sooner do they open than they are precisely excised, as if with scissors.

The scent of carnations imprinted in my mind the impression of familial security and contentment at an early age, as I crawled around my grandfather‘s vegetable garden and fragrant flower beds. So I’m not impressed.

Still, without concrete evidence (8×10 glossies?) I must reserve judgement. But there’s no deer in the neighbourhood and the fence is, I should think, impenetrable to larger critters. That leaves mice. But there’s not a petal left behind, so our masked marauder remains the prime suspect. Any guesses?

I wish whoever is responsible would realize that garden flowers are meant to be deadheaded after they’ve finished blooming — not just as they open!

Raymond Parker

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