sweet thunder
Senior Member
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:43 pm
Location: Eureka, CA

Mystery Marauder

Someone or something raided the compost but in a very strange way.

I use those black plastic Earth Machines because they're usually pretty good at keeping the critters out. Today I found that one of them had been completely lifted off the ground and tossed aside, but without disturbing the contents. I did find one piece of bread a few feet away, but otherwise the pile was intact, and we're talking about a full bin's worth of stuff!

I'm guessing that whoever did it got spooked off before they could cause any more ruckus. Either that or my compost just wasn't very tasty.
Regardless, I'm baffled at how they pulled it up so neatly, especially with those plastic screws holding into the soil and several large rocks piled around the base.

Could raccoons be that dextrous? We have had a bear here before, so that's a possibility. Human? The dogs were so quiet, though. Weird.

User avatar
plkelly
Senior Member
Posts: 160
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:52 pm
Location: Springfield MO

I don't know what an Earth Machine is, but raccoons are smart and can figure out how to get in almost anything. When I lived at the lake, I watched a big male get on the top of my trash can, which had a locked down lid, and use his weight to 'rock' the top off once he unlocked it.

Momma and 3 little babies sat and watched Daddy do his thing to get dinner for them.

I get them here, too, when I forget to bring in cat food at night. These guys all came up right outside my bedroom deck one night.

[img]https://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb267/plkelly/B0000579.jpg[/img]
Patsy

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
--Margaret Atwood

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

raccoons

Oh yeah... Once I was on a camping trip in the mountains (Calif). We had "bear bagged" our food, i.e. hung it from a rope from a branch in a tree. In the night we woke up to a bunch of ruckus. Found a raccoon had climbed the tree, gone out the branch, down the rope, OPENED THE ZIPPER ON THE BAG, and ripped up the cardboard egg carton and was sucking the eggs... It was the zipper part I found pretty scarey. You pretty much can't keep them out of anything.

2cents
Green Thumb
Posts: 616
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:04 pm
Location: Ohio

Coons are very nimble.
Used to live in a large 1.5 story home, the apex was 30 feet high and had 3 foot eves with a 14" facia.
Watched a very fat, large coon scale the corner of the building.
climb upside down aroung the lower eve and up and over the facia....scamper up the roof, scale the shed dormer, around another 3 foot eve, scamper up the upper roof upto the apex and crawl out and down the 14" facia, hang upside down and enter the attic from a loose board.

With all the available places those coons could live, why did they go to all that trouble to have a nest for the baby coons in that attic?

20 years later and I am still telling that story. Racoons are amazing climbers. Nothing can stop them.

User avatar
plkelly
Senior Member
Posts: 160
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:52 pm
Location: Springfield MO

I love those stories!
:flower:
Patsy

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
--Margaret Atwood

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

Guess we all have racoon stories... :)

I remember startling them in Mom's garage decades back...first Dad comes out of the tipped over can, then Mom, then four kits... you'd think they'd be high-tailing, but just like a Sunday outing, really... :lol:

My high school buddy David raised a kit (the local warden knew he had a rep for raising orphaned birds and such); a boar Dave named Rocky... he grew up with us, but Dave released him at two years. I remember sitting on Davey's deck one night and Rocky just rambling over the back lawn to come over and sponge cat food, and say howdy to his old crew, while the wife and kids sat at the tree line, freaking out, this years after he was released. These are very smart animals. And dextrous? Rocky could do screw tops; you had to tighten it hard or watch it like a hawk... soda or beer; he didn't care... :roll:

HG
Scott Reil

Charlie MV
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1544
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 3:48 am

Raccoons kept raiding my suet that I had out for the birds. I tried relocating the little suet cages to spots I thought were 'coon-proof. Nothing worked. Finally I decided to roll the suet cake in ceyenne pepper. It had worked on those little satanic squirrels. The raccoon climbed the wood fence I mounted the suet cage on. He sampled the suet and didn't like it . Oh boy it was working...I'm so smart. As I watched, the devil ripped the whole cage off the fence, dragged it across the yard and slung it up into the bird bath. In this case the bird bath was a suet wash as he sloshed it around and gave some subtle raccoon signal to his/her family. 4 babies came out of the ether, hopped up in the bird bath and polished off the suet cake.

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

THAT'S what I am talking about! :lol: I have heard stories and seen stuff that makes me think we underestimate the intelligence of these animals all the time, but resourceful definitely describes raccoons; they have learned well how to make a living off of us...

HG
Scott Reil

Charlie MV
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1544
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 3:48 am

Are you kidding me? Raccons are the main reason I take my keys out of the car. :o I'd leave the keys in the car if I thought the raccoons would run over the squirrels. I still think squirrels are Satan.

User avatar
Earl K
Green Thumb
Posts: 351
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:44 am
Location: Melbourne ,Fl.

Charlie,Tell us how you really feel about squirrels :shock: They taunt our jack russell all day long.
Florida porchgrown veggies
USDA zone 9

Charlie MV
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1544
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 3:48 am

Remember the Geico commercial where the car runs off the road avoiding the squirrel? Then the squirrels high 5? I hit the gas when opportunity presents itself. I've never gotten lucky.

The jolly roger [pirate flag] would be much more terrifying with a white squirrel on a black back ground.

They mock me and I hate them. :twisted: I'm not alone. Why do you you think somebody came up with the expression "squirrel in the punch bowl"?

User avatar
Earl K
Green Thumb
Posts: 351
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:44 am
Location: Melbourne ,Fl.

Wow,I love reading your stories.I laugh till tears and then laugh again later.Keep it up :D
Florida porchgrown veggies
USDA zone 9

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 28026
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

My DH calls squirrels "Tree Rats" ... and grackles and starlings "Flying Rats" :roll:
My response to them may resemble Charlie MV's towards Autumn at which time I am anticipating a major skirmish/battle/war over the Enterprise apples. :eek:

sweet thunder
Senior Member
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:43 pm
Location: Eureka, CA

Call me crazy, but I really miss the squirrels. We don't have any around here, so when I go back east I love to watch them.

I remember being really impressed by the one who could reach our bird feeder, and I was only mildly annoyed at all the little oak seedlings they planted around the yard. There was one who used to chatter at me from the power lines every morning.

I know they can be pests, but they're really entertaining pests.

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

The really entertaining pests have nearly destroyed a heavy gauge wire peanut feeder in my yard. Wish they'd take the act on the road...where the racoons can get them with the car... :lol:

Y'all are crazy, sometimes... You said call you crazy...:lol:

HG
Scott Reil

Charlie MV
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1544
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 3:48 am

Satan Claus

[url]https://www.skiingsquirrel.com/images/New%20Folder/slides/Twiggy%20Santa%20Suit%20Christmas%20Card.html[/url]


The effect is much better if the picture just pops up but you get the idea.

User avatar
Earl K
Green Thumb
Posts: 351
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:44 am
Location: Melbourne ,Fl.

sweet thunder-you mean to tell me there are no squirrels in Ca.Hmmm a world with no squirrels-where do all the nuts go :?: I actually like the little guys since the first 100 times i've been called sq-Earl :)
Florida porchgrown veggies
USDA zone 9

cynthia_h
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

This thread

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13309

is where I discussed my feelings about squirrels :evil: *and* related an experience I had with raccoons while living in Berkeley. In El Cerrito, the squirrels are my nemesis; no raccoons here.... yet....

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

sweet thunder
Senior Member
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:43 pm
Location: Eureka, CA

Earl K wrote:sweet thunder-you mean to tell me there are no squirrels in Ca.Hmmm a world with no squirrels-where do all the nuts go :?:
Well, according to Cynthia and others, there are squirrels in CA, just not in my neck of the woods for some reason. The foxes and mountain lions are probably eating them all. It does help explain the abundance of nuts around here. :wink:

rot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 728
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:15 am
Location: Ventura County, CA, Sunset 23

They're just squirrelly in Cal

 
We've got ground squirrels and imported fox squirrels.

Fox squirrels were introduced to the LA area some time ago and studies are on-going to see how that's impacted native California Gray Squirrels.

 

User avatar
!potatoes!
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1901
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:13 pm
Location: wnc - zones 6/7 line

one man's pest is another's crock-pot dinner, i guess...

User avatar
smokensqueal
Green Thumb
Posts: 392
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:36 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO Metro area

I have no problems with any animal really. The squeralls are actually not to bad the help airate around my trees in the mulch. LOL But the one thing I absolutly hate are the rabbits. We have SO many here it's not funny. Just driving down the road you could count at least 10 in one block and that's just in the front yards. They eat so much. I had some mesh/net around some of my plants they were eating and they ate right through it. I found a mixture of pepers and a few other things that seem to of help. Then they went and start eating my sunflowers. :twisted: I'm now going to teach the son about pellet guns and target practice if they keep it up. :evil:

User avatar
plkelly
Senior Member
Posts: 160
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:52 pm
Location: Springfield MO

I love the animals in my yard, and even tolerate the squirrels diggin up newly planted containers to bury acorns. Bunnies and chipmunks are also welcome, along with the possums (my least favorite and barely tolerated), foxes, deer and racoons. Plus all the birds. Guess maybe I love the animals more than the plants. Or at least I'm willing to sacrifice a couple plants for the enjoyment the animals give me.

There's a town here in MO that has [url=https://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https://www.ruralmissouri.coop/Images/RuralMissouri/Dec03/squirrelstands.jpg&imgrefurl=https://www.ruralmissouri.coop/03pages/03DecSquirrels.html&usg=__kI3_MpzXKD90x_A8gX_UDlDxTDo=&h=247&w=340&sz=14&hl=en&start=6&um=1&tbnid=FP9YpHn8NfkBXM:&tbnh=86&tbnw=119&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dmarionville%2Bmo%2Bwhite%2Bsquirrels%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DN%26um%3D1]white squirrels:[/url] (edited by mod)

Sorry that link is so long, but it was the best photos and info I could find in a quick search. A couple years ago I read about another place in the US that has white squirrels, but I can't remember what city it was. They battle it out for the title of "Home of the White Squirrels". Anyway, I've been to Marionville a few times, and the squirrels are beautiful (sorry, Charlie). Brilliant white--makes you wonder how they keep their coats so spotless. They are gorgeous.
Patsy

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
--Margaret Atwood

Charlie MV
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1544
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 3:48 am

We have a white squirrel in the neighborhood. It is beautiful but I still spit 3 times really fast to protect myself from squirrel evil eye whenever I see it.

I did enjoy watching them on my "squirrel go round" a few years back.

https://www.bestnest.com/bestnest/RTProduct.asp?SKU=HF-75560

This was a lot of fun for me and therapeutic as well. When a lil devil grabs the corn cob, the contraption spins around and they're clinging for dear life or flying off the ride. Either way they have to earn their supper to my great entertainment. It's not really cruel. I read a squirrel psychology book that said that squirrel brains are too small to remember terror. They do get terrified when the corntraption spins but 30 seconds later they jump right back on so the psychologist must be right. I put great truck in psychology.

I think those compost tumblers that people keep making and showing off here have great potential as squirrel rides. One of the mods here said something about bobcats and the squirrel population. It would probably be fun to see if the bobcat might enjoy riding with the squirrel.



I made myself laugh with this one.

mngrdngrl
Full Member
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:03 pm

Charlie MV wrote:We have a white squirrel in the neighborhood. It is beautiful but I still spit 3 times really fast to protect myself from squirrel evil eye whenever I see it.

I did enjoy watching them on my "squirrel go round" a few years back.

https://www.bestnest.com/bestnest/RTProduct.asp?SKU=HF-75560

This was a lot of fun for me and therapeutic as well. When a lil devil grabs the corn cob, the contraption spins around and they're clinging for dear life or flying off the ride. Either way they have to earn their supper to my great entertainment. It's not really cruel. I read a squirrel psychology book that said that squirrel brains are too small to remember terror. They do get terrified when the corntraption spins but 30 seconds later they jump right back on so the psychologist must be right. I put great truck in psychology.

I think those compost tumblers that people keep making and showing off here have great potential as squirrel rides. One of the mods here said something about bobcats and the squirrel population. It would probably be fun to see if the bobcat might enjoy riding with the squirrel.



I made myself laugh with this one.
Made me laugh too! That was really funny!

User avatar
Diane
Green Thumb
Posts: 511
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:38 am
Location: Mass

sweet thunder wrote:Call me crazy, but I really miss the squirrels. We don't have any around here, so when I go back east I love to watch them.

I remember being really impressed by the one who could reach our bird feeder, and I was only mildly annoyed at all the little oak seedlings they planted around the yard. There was one who used to chatter at me from the power lines every morning.

I know they can be pests, but they're really entertaining pests.
So thats where all my little trees are coming from? I've been blaming the birds but I did wonder why they all grow in my pots.
My dog is very entertained by them. He chases them and the birds. He never hurts them. He just wants my yard to be bird free. :)
Gardens are a little bit of heaven on earth.

https://s600.photobucket.com/albums/tt87 ... G00047.jpg

Return to “Composting Forum”