Archive for the ‘skunk’ Tag

03-30-2018 My Wildlife Welfare System   Leave a comment

Being a lifelong animal lover has it’s ups and downs and living here in Maine makes things even more interesting.  With the harsh winters and constant snow cover the wildlife here has become quite  deligent in their hunt for food. I’ve been a loyal bird feeder for most of my life because I really enjoy having the birds around.  My better-half is also a bird lover and we currently have six feeders we keep filled.  I estimate the birds are eating close to 125 lbs. of feed a year  not counting the many packages of suet we purchase to keep the woodpeckers healthy and happy. Add to that two or three quarts of sugar syrup for the hummingbirds and you begin to truly understand.

It became apparent some months ago that the birds living in this area have a rather accomplished communication system to spread the news concerning food sources and the location of predators. This came to my attention when a herd of wild turkeys showed up out of nowhere and began feeding from the food accidently dropped from our hanging feeders.  Needless to say my better-half was quick to buy more corn and began strewing it everywhere. That’s all they needed to make our home the number one spot on their regular feeding rotation. With the heavy snow cover this winter they needed to do something inventive to help them survive the winter.  Thus began the feeding of a another new group of dependents that I couldn’t claim on my taxes. As always I just went along thinking that would be the last of the additions to our extended family of two hundred or so really hungry birds.  I was sadly mistaken once again.

Last year I erected a squirrel feeder on a nearby tree hoping it might convince the little buggers to stay away from the bird feeders. Once again, no good deed goes unpunished. We found out very quickly that turkeys and the occasional deer are also fond of corn.  So began the battle for the corn that lasted most of the summer and into the winter. My better-half still insists on bringing home an endless supply of corn to keep the battle going.  I left one of the bags sitting in the basement and hoped she would forget about it.  She forgot for a time but the field mice did not.  They like corn too and we soon found ourselves overrun with mice. Since the untimely demise of my lifelong best friend, my cat Stormy it’s been difficult to keep them under control.  He died a year ago and the mice discovered his absence rather quickly.  A new war was a brew’n.

A quick visit to Lowes supplied me with an armload of mouse traps and a determination to keep the mice out of our home.  I did discover that putting cheese in a mousetrap is a waste of time.  At first the mice were able to pull the cheese from the trap without harming themselves.  After some research I discovered that JIFF creamy peanut butter really gets the job done.  I’ve peeled 13 little corpses off those traps so far and I hope there will be many more to come. I toss their little corpses out onto the snow bank in the backyard where the crows and coyotes fight over the free meal.  At least with the mice I only have to feed them once.

I wish that was the end of this sad story but no such luck.  Next on my list is a large group of industrious little chipmunks who have quite a nice residence under our home.  My father always told me if you see one chipmunk you probable have at least ten. If that’s true then we may have upwards of a hundred roaming around. Oh yeah, they also love corn and bird seed just like damn near everyone else. It’s a little more difficult for them because they’re so small and the birds are constantly chasing them away.

I’ll begin working in our garden within the next few weeks and “Job 1” is to be certain that the fences are intact.  All these little varmints, birds, deer, and skunks are just waiting for me to make a mistake and then my garden will be trashed.  Don’t even get me started about that big fat skunk that patrols our property looking for trouble.  If he was any bigger I could just ride him around  like a horse.

So begins another summer here in Maine.  It should be interesting.

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08-10-2016 Journal – Garden Frustrations!   Leave a comment

As you all know I love gardening.  That doesn’t change the fact that at times it’s as  frustrating as hell.  Last year my garden problems concerned a number of God’s annoying little critters that insisted on attacking my garden.  Since I’m a problem solver I installed a fence around certain portions of the garden that they like to eat. Problem solved, right? No way.  The following photos were some of the items harvested so far this year in spite of the critters.

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The culprit from last years fiasco has since disappeared and we haven’t had one of his nightly visits this year. Unfortunately he has friends that were apparently given detailed directions to find us. This year for the first time in eight years we were visited by a big fat groundhog.  He was sitting right in the middle of the yard watching the house when I spotted him the first time.  He ran into a culvert to hide and I immediately dropped a couple of fire crackers in after him.  If it didn’t scare him, it certainly deafened him.  Problem solved, right! Not hardly.

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A week later he was back sitting in the same spot and it appeared he may have been taunting me a little. I couldn’t see all that clearly but I think he might have been giving me the finger as well.  It was time for the big guns.  With my handy pistol in hand I gave chase and took a shot at him. He was one helluva lot faster than he looked and escaped with his life.  Problem solved, Right!   No effing way.

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A few day later I discovered that someone had been eating my kale plants that were of course, not inside the damn fence.  It’s man against the critters once again.  I’ve never won any battles against them before but maybe this time I’ll have more luck.

THERE ARE TIMES WHEN I HATE MOTHER NATURE

10-01-2015 Journal–My 2015 Garden Eulogy!   Leave a comment

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This week isn’t one I ever look forward to.  It’s the week every year when I begin to dismantle our garden.  It’s been a priority for my better-half and I for the last six months requiring a tremendous amount of TLC and just as much water.  It actually began last winter when we sat down at the kitchen table and planned it all out. As with all plans it never seems to workout perfectly without problems of one sort or another cropping up.

First it was the damn stunk that did everything in it’s power to destroy things. It was one lucky SOB because he survived a number of night time surveillances where I sat in the dark on the deck with a loaded rifle waiting to end his life of vandalism and mayhem.  He must have a really hardworking guardian angel because I seriously wanted to do him harm. After all of the repair jobs and the new fence we reached a mutual agreement to avoid each other for the rest of the summer. I smelled him a few times at night but never met him in person (Thank God).

The weather was for the most part cooperative but you can always use more rainfall with any garden. After a slow start things picked up rather well making the garden fairly productive. Was it the best ever? No.  It was just an average year due mostly to the skunk.

These pictures were taken this morning and as you can see most of the plants have been harvested and removed. All of the herbs we need for the winter have also been harvested, dried, and stored. Beginning next week I’ll begin  removing the garden fabric and composting all of the frames. Then it will be tilled under and left to sit for the winter to be ready for planting in June.

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Here’s the final tally for the garden and all of our efforts for 2015.  The pantry has been restocked with just about everything we need for winter.  My one last contribution will be a large pot of my favorite chicken soup which will supply us with at least ten to twelve hardy meals during the winter.

41 Pints of canned habanero hot B & B pickles
13 Pints of Habanero Dill Pickles
  3 Pints of tripleberry jam
  8 Pints of strawberry/rhubarb jam
  3 Pints of strawberry jam
  8 Pints of blueberry jam
  2 Pints of jalapeño/rhubarb jelly
13 Quarts of Four Bean/Corn chili
14 Quarts of Black Bean/Corn salsa
2 Quad Berry/Rhubarb Tarts
15 Lbs Rhubarb
5 Loaves of Chocolate/Zucchini Bread
4 Loaves of Spice/Zucchini Bread
9 Lbs of Fresh Pea Pods
16 Lbs of Cherry Tomatoes
15 Lbs of Jalapeño Peppers
7 Lbs of Assorted Hot Peppers
20 Lbs of Fresh Zucchini
13 Lbs of Assorted Lettuces
2 Lbs of dried onion chives
1 Lb dried habanero peppers 
1 Lb dried garlic chives
4 Lbs of dried and assorted mints
2 Lbs of dried oregano
1 Lb of dried parsley

This just goes to show how easy it is to supplement your food supply from a medium sized garden and a few cheap purchases from local farmers. All in all not a terrible year but next year will hopefully be even better.

06-17-2015 Journal – Rural Murder Inc.   Leave a comment

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I’m not normally a person captivated by breaking news events nor do I feel the need to be the first person to spread the word about certain occurrences but today is an exception. So here goes. . .

I received a tidbit of news this morning from an anonymous source that my previously mentioned garden marauder, aka "The Skunk", may have been fatally injured during the night.  I’m aware that my earlier threats against his life could possibly make me a person of interest in his disappearance and possible death.

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I’ll probably spend the day waiting around for the inevitable arrival of the animal homicide investigators. I also heard there’s been a rash of similar deaths in the last few weeks and no real leads or clues have been discovered.  It’s only a matter of time until they pick up the rumor of my blog and those rather inappropriate death threats.

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At 3 am my source just happened to be nearby when the "The Skunk" was observed slowly slinking through my yard towards my garden.  It just so happened that just as he was nearing the garden he was accosted by a couple of strangers. Within seconds loud and shrill screaming was heard by neighbors sounding much like someone being assaulted and badly injured. The screaming continued even louder but seemed to be slowly moving towards a nearby wooded area where it suddenly stopped.  All was quiet in the neighborhood for the rest of the night.

After listening to that report and being the experienced criminal investigator I am, the next morning I hurried to the alleged crime scene.  While I found no traces of blood or indications of a tussle I continued collecting what few facts that were available.

  • Fact #1 – I actually heard the screams outside my bedroom window that night but saw nothing suspicious.
  • Fact #2 – I found no evidence at the scene of violence being perpetrated.
  • Fact #3 – My garden was untouched for the first time in weeks.
  • Fact #4 – I personally saw no suspicious characters in the neighborhood that night nor did I hear anything that would help me identify the unknown subject or subjects (the UNSUBS).

The next day I was approached by two investigators who required me to supply them with an alibi for the time in question. Since they could find no forensic evidence at the scene they began the process of building a circumstantial case with me as their chief suspect. While my better-half was asleep beside me that night she was unable to verify my presence or supply me with an believable alibi.

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‘Suspect #1’

Later that same day I heard a rumor that I immediately conveyed to the investigators concerning two suspicious and dangerous looking characters seen in the area. They’d been spotted with the victim near the scene of the alleged crime on the night in question by an anonymous source,who I refused to identify.  They were very upset with me but I do have the constitution right to protect my sources.

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“Suspect #2’

A little later in the day an APB was sent out to all nearby neighborhoods with a BOLO on these two suspects.  They were described briefly as being similar in stature, approximately 24 inches tall, wearing shaggy overcoats, and with a mean and hungry look in their eyes.  Other information received indicated they were members of a notorious local gang called "The Coyotes".  Many suspicious deaths have occurred in the past in this area that were attributed to this gang  but no arrests have never been made.

Hopefully this will get these pesky investigators off my butt. They’re now requesting all of my guns for ballistic testing on the side chance the victim’s body will eventually be located.  I immediately checked with my attorney and we refused to give up my weapons. They left in a huff but there is no doubt in my mind that this matter wasn’t going to be dropped anytime soon.

Trust me, they’ll never find the body.