Friday, May 15, 2009

Fighting Nature

Ewwww, gross! Slugs!!!!!!

I'm so mad at the slugs. They've eaten 2 of my new zuchini plants. Not all of them - in fact they haven't touched the other ones - the regular green ones, or the pumpkins. But the yellow zuke and the new super cute 8-ball zuke that I just planted are gone. Totally chewed to the ground. And they've pretty much decimated my coneflowers too. I found two of the three starting to come back, and I tried to leave a little (garden-friendly) slug bait around them because they looked a little beat up. And today, they are in much worse shape. I almost couldn't find one of them, it's a nub.

I've been picking and plucking them. But I guess I need to get more serious - beer cans, traps, hunting. They are getting way out of hand.

The other thing that's out of hand? This stupid racoon that decided to mess with me last night. It was 4am. And I heard a giant racket out in the back yard - loud thumping and trampling. And before I could even get to the window, there was a crash. The thing was out there playing around with the lawn furniture and cat toys. And when I peeped out, he waddled over to the window, stood up on his hind legs and stared at me. So I ran for the back door and turned on all the lights to shoo him off. He crossed the yard, coming towards me, and jumped up onto the potting bench, and stared back down at me from about 12 inches from my face. I pushed him with a stick and he wouldn't budge, yelling all the way.

So I went back in. It was chilly. My little nightgown was thin. My feet were bare. He explored my plant stuff there, and started tearing away at the bag of slug stuff - got the zip-lock open and was pawing around in it. And I felt bad, I didn't want him to get sick, so I ran back out, lights blazing, stick waving. He dropped the bag, but didn't move. So I grabbed it from him, zipped it back up, stuffed it behind some things down below. Wow, am I dumb.

He watched the whole thing from a foot away. And when I headed back inside, he knocked over everything on the entire shelf and grabbed the bag again. Starting gnawing away like crazy, ripping it to shreds and throwing the little pellet thingies all over the place. I missed the beginning because the dumb cats had just run over to help me out and I was trying to shoo them back in the house and out of the way.

When I realized that the guy was having a food fight with the slug bait, I ran back out and practically slapped it out of his hand, grabbing it and taking it inside. He was still sitting there, with a defiant look on his face, daring me to wave my stick again. I was tired. I think I pulled something in my back from all the stick waving. I closed the door and headed back to bed. Let him have his jollies.

Which he did. This morning, I opened the back door to a bigger mess. I had a few of the last little plant starts that didn't get planted yet sitting in a far corner. One was turned over and ripped up - dirt and roots and leaves in a trail across the patio. One was gone. Just missing. I've looked everywhere - back yard, front yard, side yard, the neighbors yard, the other side of the fence. He just took it cleanly away. Little saxifrage with the sweetest teeny pink flowers. Gone.

What gives? This is the city. Like seriously, the real city. Not the suburbs. A couple miles from the flippin' highrises of downtown. I'm not supposed to be fighting wildlife here! I'm sure he'll be back. Can't wait for the next episode.