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Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Revelation

By this time you all know how I seriously hate raccoons and that my idiot neighbor is feeding them.   The impression that I got from the arguments his wife and daughter proffered on his behalf (he's been doing it for years, they've never bothered their vegetables, etc.) was that I would not be able to persuade him to stop.

I emailed the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to find out whether it's against the law to feed raccoons, or if they had any suggestions for what I could do, and they were pretty unhelpful.  No laws against it, and no real suggestions for me.

Then this morning while enjoying my first cup of coffee, sitting there bleary-eyed and rumpled, I heard a trilling that didn't sound like the birds.  But instantly I was awake, because I was pretty sure what it was.  And yes, a masked little face was peering through the bushes at the top of the fence.  I kicked off my slippers, mashed my feet into my gardening clogs, and threw open the sliding screen door, grabbing the spading fork I've taken to leaving by the door and lit out after it.  'It' turned out to be three babies, and they made themselves pretty scarce when they saw me coming.  I went back into the house to sit down at the table, drink my coffee and have a good think about this. 

And then I had a revelation.

What's happening is that the raccoons are using my back fence as a through way to Dick's All-Nite Diner, and what is prompting them into the garden proper is the various bushes and trees that hang over the fence that make their way difficult.

What I need to do is make the entire length of the fence difficult, or painful, or just plain a pain in the ass so that they find some other way to get to Dick's.  I may wind up having to buy coon repellent for the front yard, but by hook or by crook, I am going to keep those damn raccoons out of my yard!  I briefly considered an electric fence awhile back, but Steve nixed that idea, so when I offered the barrier idea this morning at breakfast, he gave it his approval.  I just have to figure out how to do it cheaply and effectively, which is something I can do; I just have to give it more thought.

But I am still keeping my spading fork by the back door.


Kathleen Stoltzfus said...

Personally, I'd go for a line of electric all along the top of your fence. But then, that's just me.

Paula said...

Yeah, me too. But Steve said no to that idea.

He just doesn't get it.

Miriam said...

Oh, what a pain! And what a neighbour! How frustrating to have all your hard work put in peril because someone thinks raccoons are cute. Why is Steve opposed to an electric fence?

Paula said...

I think it's because they are spendy, and maybe because he's afraid to get zapped. Also probably because he'd wind up having to help me install it because even tho' I'm handy, I am seriously electronically challenged, and although I can handle super simple electrical work, I don't think I could do the fence. And he's completely disinterested.