So there I was, minding my own business, 10,000 feet in the air, no plane, no parachute… oh wait, no, I wasn’t there; but I WAS in the garden and I almost cried and rolled on the ground when I noticed that the wind had knocked over some of my corn stalks; but no big deal, right, because we had some very big storms recently and the corn was OK it just needed to be stood up again and that went well but holy cow the next day I got so exasperated that I started this Happy Friday thing with a really long run-on sentence complete with sentence fragments because…
THE STINKIN’ RACCOONS GOT INTO MY POPCORN!!!! RARRRRGGGHHHH!!!
Well I can’t prove it was raccoons, but it sure looked that way, because somebody knocked over the stalks and was a-munchin’ on the ears. And this is not just regular corn mind you. Nooo!! It’s popcorn, and I even helped it have sex and everything!! Say huh?? Yes, boys and girls, I pollinated the corn by hand to make really sure it took. I usually only grow one row of corn; which doesn’t lend itself to thorough pollination without some help. That means that during “pollen season,” when the tassels are flowering, I need to make really sure some pollen reaches the silk on the cobs; otherwise the cobs won’t be full of kernels when the corn matures.
Since local yokels provide us with lots and LOTS of delicious sweet corn, I’ve decided to specialize in growing heirloom popcorn. It’s really pretty, multicolored stuff that resembles the so-called “Indian corn” that folks like to hang up for decorations. And the flavor, oh my… it really is true that there’s nothing like home grown food. I usually end up with about 10 pounds of corn each year; not too bad for a single row.
Needless to say, I was NOT happy when the stinkin’ coons got into my corn!! My son in law helped me put in a fence some years ago; which was a response to both deer and raccoons in the garden. Worked very well until this year when the popcorn bandits apparently scaled the fence and went in a-stealin’. So! Being the kind person I am, I went and doused each plant with some cayenne pepper. I was hoping that if they came back they’d get a nice snoot full and that would make them go a-runnin’ for some nostril relief in the creek or something.
No good. They came back and had more munching fun.
Next step: a live trap. Off I went to the local Farm and Home store and bought me a trap. The nice lady at the counter listened to my laments, and suggested some dog food for bait. So I got me a couple nice cans of dog food. I put half a can of dog food in a little plastic dish, then set the trap outside the garden; thinking I would catch the coon on its way to the corn patch. Raccoons are nocturnal critters, so I set the trap out just after sundown; with the intent of checking it before bed time.
I’m a bit of a night owl, so I took my trusty MagLite flashlight and focused the beam on the trap from my vantage point on our deck. Lo and behold, I saw the reflection of two shiny eyes looking back at me. However, I thought I also saw two fur colors: black and white. It didn’t look like a skunk… seemed too big. Regardless; I approached with caution.
When I got a little closer it was obvious I had caught neither coon nor skunk; but rather a very large kitty cat. As I got within range of the trap I scolded the captive, “You get outta there!! You’re not supposed to be in there!! I’m tryin’ to catch a raccoon!!” I lifted the door and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a cat move so quickly.
Although there was dog food in the dish, the kitty apparently wolfed it down; because there was very little left. We live in a semi-rural area so it was no surprise that a stray would come visit for a free meal. This one must be pretty good at finding food though, because he was a big feller. And no, I didn’t check to make sure it was a boy… but seemed like it.
I washed out the dish, baited the trap again and this time set it inside the garden. My garden fence may not be raccoon proof; but I’m pretty sure it’s kitty proof. Got up kind of early this morning to check the trap… nothing. Freshened up the bait again for tonight and I’ll be checking again before beddy bye. If I catch one tonight, we’ll be going for a little ride. We have this nice river just south of us, I’ll just drive it across the river and set it free. I’m thinking it’s not likely it will cross the river to get back to our house.
OK. So if you happen to run across any raccoons with popcorn eatin’ grins on their faces, please let me know.
I have a bone to pick with them.
Maybe I should get Pluto to help out… or maybe not.