Around 7am, I was looking out of the window when I first woke up, trying to decide if I really wanted/needed to go out this morning when it was already 78°F with forecasted heat index of 104°F in the afternoon.... and I thought I might have a hornworm out there — half of my Goldfish (Orange fruited Fish sport) plant leaves were GONE! (And of course it was the better variegated of the two plants in the pot)
(Mind you ...this might be my garden’s idea of a joke after I implied last night that I might be willing to eat a hornworm if it had been raised on special diet of young hot pepper leaves and some ripe tomatoes and peppers
— after a closer look at the crime scene, preliminary findings point to a bold rabbit — the potted pepper on a toddler garden bench was the worst mangled victim, but Brussels sprout and cabbage in the cedar barrel planter were significantly munched and so was a cabbage in a Rubbermaid tote SIP — both of which required the perpetuator to stand on hind legs and possible jump up. An empty pot next to the SIP had been knocked over. (Yeah, the patio is a sight afa weeds go — lowest on my priorities right now while I’m trying to catch up with basic food garden care....)
...looking at the top photo, hmmm do you think a rabbit would have ignored the carrot leaves in the front? Could this have been the work of a groundHOG? But I think they would have eaten more....? Or are we back to raccoons? — Every time there has been a raccoon raid, I find dead goldfish in the big holding tub, and I did find one floating this morning.
Here is a photo of the holding tub, and a representative photo of a bucket — all my buckets with reserved rainwater have feeder comet goldfish and rosy minnows in them for mosquito control. Short pieces of garden hose and tubing use siphon effect for keeping multiple buckets at same water level.
I do use wire shelving over the big tub to protect them, but it’s possible the raccoons mess with them and injure them or scare them to death (yes, it’s possible, I’ve seen it happen).
...I should pay more attention to the kitties when they are showing inordinate interest in looking out of the windows. One of them even pushed her way to a window that is blocked by various objects yesterday — but that was during daytime.