Sunday, July 5, 2009

Under Cover of Darkness

I should have been sound asleep, but like the cat, I am often nocturnal. Unfortunately, unlike the cat, I can rarely sleep during the daytime. What do you call someone who doesn't sleep besides tired?

Anyway, at the usual 1:00 am there was a scramble of little feet on my pots, little toenails scrabbling across plastic. I had left the spray bottle of home made Tabasco and soap Critter Off! in the garden, because though I'd planned to spray after turning the compost, I forgot.

In the middle of the night I paid the price of absent-mindedness. The park is full of people. While I was not shy about getting up and going out to shoo away critters when I was still sleeping in my (highly alluring) sweat pants and monster-sized T-shirt, I did not feel like getting up in my abbreviated summer jammies and causing alarm and dismay among any passersby. I gritted my teeth and listened for the munching of watermelon leaves. I dozed off and on listening for munching.

All night long a parade of critters came to call. When I did finally sleep I had a nightmare that my entire garden had been eaten to bare stems. That's scarier than dreaming of monsters!

I need a camera which takes pictures in the dark! Some of the critters had teeny feet, some were bigger. But as dawn was breaking there was a set of feet which were much bigger. I remembered Cat's belief that we have a resident weasel. Fine by me, the weasel is a carnivore and the hurried scrambling away of small feet that took place when those larger feet hit the pots cheered me up immensely. I never heard a squeak, so I'm not sure the weasel (or whatever) caught its meal, but I heard no more little feet.

I was almost afraid to look this morning, but to my surprise (and relief) not a leaf appeared nibbled, no new bare stems, no missing marble-sized melons (there are now three). I guess the cayenne spray lingers longer than I had anticipated. Yay! But you can bet I'll be out spraying tonight.

There's a new set of pictures in the Flickr album, mostly the 4 x 4's in the community garden but also a couple of the "Hen and Chicks" blooms in my garden. I didn't know they bloomed until last year, but they have beautiful flowers!

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