Sunday, July 31, 2011

The newest addition

A little over a week ago I randomly peeked outside my deck one night.  At night, I've seen everything from racoons, skunks, opossums to deer mice on my birdfeeder or deck or in the vicinity.  At first I thought I had  spotted yet another deer mouse on my birdfeeder.  But it was huge! I said that's the fattest and biggest mouse I've ever seen and what's up with it's belly. It had this rippling effect along the side of it and I could see that it's belly was white as compared to gray brown fur.  Then I spotted it's tail and it was not a mouse or rat was furry. By George that's a flying squirrel! I quickly ran to grab whatever camera was in reach and shot some horrible pictures. 
The flash gave a double exposure effect and it was just too dark out on the deck even with the deck light. Plus the deck light is yellow to keep the moths away.  It's been coming back almost every night and I've experimented with different cameras and my work point and shoot seems to be best.  I haven't figured out all the settings on the dslr to get a good shot. I did use my headlamp light as a spotlight and got these better shots.

Every summer I battle chipmunks, squirrels and others eating tomatoes and constantly digging in the flower pots.  It may be a population explosion but this year has been worse than ever.  There's definitely an endless population of chipmunks and they scurry around the entire condo development. In the past, I've tried to use rocks, pebbles and other things to cover the soil.  This year they've thrown the rocks out and dug around the bigger stuff.  Mind I also was dealing with yellowing of the tomato leaves and fungus gnats.  I started under watering with fertilized water and that seems to have solved both of those problems.  Yesterday and today I went on a rampage with the deck garden. I cut out circles of hard green plastic netting and placed them on top of each pot. I also did that for my basil plants and newly planted peas in the flower boxes.  So far the digging has stopped...granted it's been one night.  But they continue to eat the tomatoes.   I don't even remember the last tomato I picked...cuz they eat the green ones and the ones that are just barely turning non-green. So I upped the ante and took some crushed red pepper flakes and ground them in my coffee grinder.  I made about 1/2 cup of powder and it sure works on me....sneezing fits, running nose and eyes from just grinding and dumping it out. I sprinkled it on top of the soil in hopes of dissuading them from eating and digging. I'm hoping this all works otherwise I may be harvesting green tomatoes and ripening them indoors...yuck.


Camera Trap Codger said...

Well, your one consolation is that that's a higher form of the usual garden riffraff.

Anonymous said...

It looks like you live in a lovely place and from the other blogs you do great work, thanks for sharing.