When the temperature shot up to the 70s for a couple of weeks, and even to the low 80s for a couple of days, I took all of the tender plants out of the solarium and various other hiding places and put them out in the garden. Tonight I heard a report that this will be the coldest night of the year, dipping down to 30 degrees by morning, so I had to run around in the rain in the dark and gather up all of those pots, plus three full trays of new plants, and put them back inside. It was grim. Those plants took days to bring outside, but I had only a few hours to get them back in. I'm exhausted and I can't help thinking I missed a few somewhere out there.
It does this every February and I have to make myself remember that it will get cold again...it just never seems like it really will. I did make myself stop cutting stuff back and I am no longer going to be running around out there at midnight, covering stuff up. I have a new attitude...let's see what makes it...if it makes it, good, if not, don't plant that again.....I don't need the stress or the midnight romps in the cold...lol..
I've run around with a flashlight and a bucket of boiling salt water picking snails in the middle of the night.
Then I discovered Sluggo.
I'm still running around with a flashlight, only this time it's chasing away raccoons.
Using the boiling salt water is solely an act of revenge for those blasted snails.
I'm not as agressive when there's more than one raccoon...for obvious reasons ! They KNOW there's safety in numbers and I'm not about to challenge them.
We do have a few raccoons around our place. You generally don't see them until you try to put in a fish pond. When I tried to do just a few small fish and lily in a half barrel, a coonie showed up as soon as the fish got to be a size worth eating. Neighbor, Gail, raises water lilies and platys, then someone gave her some koi ...dum de dum dum...egrets and coonies started showing up. Do you have fish in your pond, K?
Tons of them, Sherry. The egrets come, but the fish are smart and go to the bottom under the clover mat that now covers the pond - too deep for the egrets. I'm sure they get a few, but ours are little guys, not koi.
When I lived on the coast, in San Pedro, we got raccoons (aggressive enough to let themselves in through sliding screen doors at night, skunks, possum and even an occasional fox. No evidence of any of those here. As a trade off, besides those coyotes, of course there are tons of ground squirrels and gophers. We get the egrets, hawks and it seems I think I saw a vulture? Although I would love to have a pond, I worry about it being a watering hole for more unwanted critters (incl. rattlers) than desirable one.
I used bleach for those snails when I lived in the South Bay. None here (so far)
You probably saw turkey vultures, Lynda. We came home once to five of them on the road in front or our house. What a sight!
We have rattlers but never see them, except for one baby I saw. We have roadrunners, though, who will kill snakes. We do see gopher snakes - wish we had more - and garter snakes (very pretty). We knew the pond would draw critters, which is fine, there are just some we mind more than others. Like the **&^%$# squirrels!
Have killed a couple rattlers ince we have been here. Neighbor between us and Ortega foothills gets them first and his dogs have had altercations with them and lived to tell about it. Didn't know the roadrunners did the snake thing - double benefit, cute to watch and on patrol. Have had garter/gopher (?) snakes startle me a few times while near veggies, always being concerned about the rattlers. Guess the rattlers would have been coiled and rattling.
LOL - that's what clued me to the baby snake I saw one day - it was shaking its tail but there was nothing there! Every time I see that commercial on TV - the one with the snake that has a baby rattle on the end of its tail - I crack up.
I accidentally discovered that twinkling lights seem to keep the racoons away. I ready somewhere that they bother their eyes. I put some in for decoration around the pond, and the racoon raids stopped----and never started back up even after the lights quit working and we took them down. I guess word must have gotten out......
I did go out and cover a bunch of stuff (pots) with row covers for the last two nights since there were such dire predictions about the cold.....looks like we will be back into the 40's again now, so I can uncover stuff and see if I actually got any damage on all the beds.....if this is the worst that we may normally expect to get here, then I'll be quite happy.
We had to go ooh and ahh over the snow in the back country yesterday...beautiful....
We've been considering living out there and took a road we've not been on just to see what was out there....love surprises while exploring...this is what we found...