Category Archives: Landscape

It’s Spring … They’re BACK!!!

I noticed “signs” that “something” was eating at the feeders during the night. So I set up the trail camera last night and sure enough the raccoon has returned.
Raccoon at large feeder
I assume the reason the raccoon is looking directly at the camera is that it notices the red infrared lights that glow when the camera detects movement. It adds to the “creepy” factor!

Where’s Waldo (Murphy)?

dachshund in leavesLike many dogs, Murphy loves to play in the leaves. He always reminds me of a “where’s Waldo” picture because his coat matches the leaves.

Raccoons are a pain … Part 3

The trail camera worked. I now know the small branch is NOT too small for the raccoon to climb. Need to work on another solution! Did I tell you that …

I WILL WIN!!!!!!!

Raccoons are a pain … Part 2!

In my last post on my challenges with raccoons raiding a particular bird feeder, I noted that I might have to update based on my success or the lack of it. Well, here’s my update … I’m NOT winning!

raccoons trashed feederI put the feeder on a small limb that I “thought” would be too weak for them to climb. I put the feeder what I “thought” would be far enough away from the trunk for them to reach. I hung it high enough that I “thought” would be higher than they could jump.

Well, I “thought” wrong! This is what I found this morning. ⇒

They totally unhooked all the hooks that hold the seed tray, then they ate all the seed.

bird feeder seed tray hooks⇐ This is what the hooks look like when they are in place. If the raccoon pulled on the seed tray, these hooks would merely tighten. The ONLY way they can be removed is with HANDS!

Now you might be thinking “why don’t you just stop using this appealing type of seed?” (It has various nuts, raisins and sunflower seeds.) At this point, it’s the principle. It’s humiliating to be outsmarted by a very cunning animal. THIS IS WAR!
trail camera & spot light

I’m going to spy on them. I bought a small motion-detector light and a hunter’s trail camera. I want to see how these critters are getting to the feeder. I’ll let you know what the camera captures tonight.

Stay tuned ….

By the way, if you go to YouTube and search for “raccoon bird feeder” you’ll find lots of pages of videos showing other people’s trials with the masked raiders. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone.

What’s that funny-looking bee?

I plant flowers and shrubs that are appealing to birds, bees and butterflies. A few years ago, I planted Bee Balm for the hummingbirds. They love it! Yesterday I noticed two “odd” insects feeding at the Bee Balm and the nearby Phlox.

hummingbird moth

They are called Hummingbird Moths. It was hard to get a good pic of them as just like hummingbirds, they are in constant movement. According to link to the Forest Service, they also like Phlox. I happen to have Phlox planted next to the Bee Balm so they may think they stumbled on a smorgasbord. Per the Forest Service pics, I think the two I saw are the Snowberry Clearwing version.

bee balm & phlox

A word of caution if planning to install Bee Balm – that’s not mentioned in plant web sites. The above plant started as a small single 3″ plant pot. In the 3 years since, I’ve had to divide, give away, plant in other places, as it spreads quite a bit after it’s cut down when the flowers subside. I didn’t know it spread like that! So my suggestions are:

  • Put it in a spot where it can be visible during its blooming time which is 3-4 weeks on either side of July 4. It’s VERY spectacular.
  • Put it behind other shorter plants that will hide the empty space once you have to cut it down after blooming. It’s rather ugly after blooming.
  • Put it in a space where the underground roots can allow it to enlarge but won’t encroach on other plants. It’s not too invasive but can double/triple in size underground after blooming. Dividing is easy and can control the size as the roots aren’t deep.

You can have your neighbors asking “what IS that bright red flower”!

Hard Work Is Being Rewarded

On May 25 I wrote about the hard work I’ve put into my yard over the years. My LAST project was to put new plants in along the back of my house. I added 900 lbs of top soil to raise the ground level up for proper water drainage away from the foundation. Around each new plant, I used Scotts® special soil for shrubs & trees which includes fertilizer. All the rain we have had has helped enormously!

Here’s what the new plants look like now! The Ligularia haven’t sprouted flowers yet but they are a mid-summer/fall bloomer. I really like the Coppertina Ninebark as it keeps changing colors. It and the Butterfly Bush will eventually grow as tall as the bottom of the windows.

New Plants Are Growing

Click to enlarge

Notice that Murph is “supervising” in the background!