Fun Friday: A Vandal Busted!

(Note: I’m not able to respond to social media right now. I am busy setting up my booth for the “ArtFest Midwest: The ‘Other’ Art Show” art show in Des Moines. If you are a follower and live in the area, the show runs 10:00am – 6:00pm on Saturday, and 10:00am – 5:00pm on Sunday, in the Varied Industries Building of the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Stop by and say “Hi” and see some of my newest paper and metal prints!)

Are you like me and wear a lot of hats? I think most of us do. Case in point, last week I played “law enforcement” and captured a rural vandal in action:

Raccoon caught in live trap

And now, the rest of the story: It has been many years since I’ve been able to grow my own tomatoes, and I LOVE fresh tomatoes! In fact, many times I have sat down for lunch with 2-3 large tomatoes and had lunch! But a busy travel schedule made it nearly impossible to raise my own tomatoes. The few times I tried, I would always come home to find brown, wilted plants … always beyond recognition and the ability to come back, all due to drying out in the hot summer heat.

But with my greatly reduced travel schedule this summer, I decided that I would put out some plants this year. So I bought a 4-pack of cherry tomatoes and a 4-pack of larger tomatoes, and planted each plant in a large pot. Then the pots went on the back deck, where they would get plenty of sun and be close enough to be able to easily water and care 0f.

But one morning last week, I got up and looked out to find 6 of the 8 pots void of tomato plants. The “missing” plants were lying on the deck along with a great deal of the soil from the pot. Just nights before, I had spotted a juvenile raccoon on my covered front porch (where he had pulled down a hummingbird feeder and had tore open a plastic bag with two, young banana plants. So seeing the tomato plants lying on the deck was no real surprise … I knew who the bandit was!

That evening, I placed my “live trap” out, baited with a piece of bread, to try to capture the vandal. But when I checked on the trap the following morning, all I had was an opossum! Opossums can be a bit irritating … bumbling around and knocking over empty pots and pooping on the deck. But their poop is a “dry” residue that can be quickly and easily swept up. So I opened the cage and let the opossum make a run for the woods … he was faster than most opossums I have seen! That next evening, I re-baited the trap. In the morning, I had my vandal, a masked mammal! I loaded up the trap and drove to a wildlife area about 15 miles away, where I opened the trap and watch the masked villain run into the distance, following a water stream.

Since then, my tomato plants have been safe and are looking quite nice … even have some blooms on the plants! Can’t wait for another tomato lunch!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • This image was captured with my Android phone’s camer

 

 

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Posted in 2017, Blog, Fun Friday post, Mammals, Nature Photography
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  • Martha Hale

    Where there’s one, there’s at least 10 more!! His brothers will be back tomorrow to continue the tomato feast… Good luck with that! In the meantime, they will enjoy your free shuttle service to the watering hole…!

  • Ya got that right, Martha! But so far, no more have shown up and the tomato plants are looking great! I’ll still keep the taxi service on “standby”, though, just in case! :o)