Thursday, June 07, 2012

Night time visitors

I live in the city.
I want to state that upfront, and I might need to remind you later. It's a small city, but it hasn't been farmland for over forty years, according to the neighbors. So when I hear a noise on my back deck, I think: home invasion. My mind leaps to episodes of Criminal Minds. Not being TSTL or wearing a white see-through negligee, it doesn't occur to me to go unarmed to the door.
So I pick up my cell phone, just in case. I have a stick. Because, [sigh] let's face it, I know what lurks outside my sliding glass door. It'll be a raccoon or possum. They visit regularly. As do the skunks, but they make noise and odors out front more than in the backyard--of my city dwelling.
But no, not this time. It was this critter, seen here ready to go far, far away. (I hope.)   
. A big-toothed, sharp-clawed groundhog
We put up with her stealing the veggies out of last year's garden. Stripping the green beans bare. Munching on lettuce. Eating one bite of each green tomato before discarding it.
For all the watering in 100 degree plus temps, the weeding and hoping we did, we got one salad out of the lettuce, three batches of green beans, four Roma tomatoes (no Big Boy, no cherry, no Steakhouse), and no squash, zucchini or whatever else we planted that never appeared as more than a stalk.
Then this year we investigated under the deck for its home. A deep burrow right up against the foundation. Hence the cage.
But we were too late.
We now have Gary, the baby groundhog. Gary is too light to trip the live trap. He has a deep love of grease from near the grill (which he was licking up just before I snapped this), just like his mom. Right now, he's too small and uncoordinated to climb onto the picnic table to get at the flowers and veggies that await planting. But he's a digger. His home isn't as deep, but it appears to be in the same place where he was born.
So we'll be borrowing the trap again, hoping Gary gets in it to be taken to safety. Because now there's a hawk perching on our fence every day. Waiting.
Did I mention I do live in the city?
Do y'all have any unexpected animals visiting you?
P.S. I've escaped the zoo and am on vacation, so if I don't answer, assume I'm somewhere in the wilds without internet.