Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thief caught on film

I've read on several other blogs where people were having raccoon problems. I have them as well. They can clean out a not quite ripe plum tree over night. My peaches are on their favorites list as well. I was able to break them of that by putting wire rings around my fruit trees and hooking them to an electric fence charger for pets. It worked very well.

Lately the little varmints started getting into the buckets that we keep our deer feed corn in. We keep it in 5 gallon buckets with a screw on lid. They would turn over the buckets and roll them around the yard till the top would come off. I was able to get some different buckets with screw on lids that had a little latch that had to be held open while you screwed the lid open. That stopped the problem---for about a week. They wouldn't even roll these around, they would just be open. I just had to know how they were getting into these new buckets. In my mind I could see one holding the bucket still, one holding the latch open and a third unscrewing the lid. They just couldn't be that smart. I had to know.

I put out a game camera pointed at the buckets. The game camera takes a picture when something moves in front of it, waits ten seconds and takes another, waits ten second and takes a third. After the third it rests for a minute and if something is moving starts the sequence again.

This sequence shows the coon on the table with the lid in his mouth, then peeling the top off, and finally getting the goodies.

I have no idea how this little coon can pry that lid off with it's mouth like it does. I tried to pull it off with my fingers and couldn't do it. These lids are pretty stout.

On this night there wasn't much of a mess made but some nights it can be really bad with corn strewn everywhere. It does eventually get cleaned up by the Cardinals and the dreaded tree rodents, the squirrels.
This picture is another night where a real mess was made as they turned the bucket over.

My dog smelling where the little varmints have been.

And the camera catches me doing what? The clean up, of course.

I finally had to resort to the electric wire again. Problem solved in just a few nights. I put the buckets on the table to make sure my dogs didn't get into the hot wire. If the coons are a problem at your place, I highly recommend the hot wire as a solution.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bad year

I so wish this year would be over. I've been trying to think of what, or who, I have done wrong to get this much bad luck. I'm not a big believer in karma but that could all change.

I just got an inch of rain so it was time to get the winter garden in. I went to McIntyres Nursery and bought some red cabbage, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, and lots of cauliflower. I love cauliflower.

And wouldn't you just know it, my little Ryobi roto tiller wouldn't start. Heck, the rope wouldn't even pull. I took the plug out and the cylinder was full of gas. A mechanic friend looked at it and declared it toast. I ordered the best of the mini tillers, a Mantis. It came in but I haven't had a chance to use it. So, why am I miffed you ask?

Well, you may remember early in this drought cursed summer my well went out. It wasn't long after that the air conditioner went out. I was able to decipher the electrical code on the AC and fix it myself fairly cheap but we had to endure several 100 degree days with no AC. It was better than the nearly four grand that the well cost. Life looked good again, water and AC, all the essentials of life in Texas. Wrong. Then my welding machine on my truck burnt up a circuit board. Not a cheap board either. This is one of the machines that I make my living with. It was fixed promptly and I might add, quite costly.

OK, all the essentials and making money again, life is good. Not. Then the computer starts doing funny things. Then the funny things start becoming not so funny things and the truth becomes evident. It is not long for this world. And as every body knows when you buy a new computer---you upgrade. I didn't like the sound of that. You got it, more money. Uh, wait a minute, no computer-no blog! "Honey, let's go get a new computer, the biggest, the baddest, the fastest one we can find". Yeah, life is good again. And then we got rain. Wahoo, yippee, we got rain. Now I can finally plant me some more plants. I can have a garden again. Let me get that little roto-tiller out and get some raised beds all ready and plant me some plants. And that is when the tiller went down. I should be in a state of depression. But I'm not. I got home this evening after a really hard day of building pipe horse pens and my absolutely amazing wife had tilled up several beds with the new tiller and planted all the winter veggie's that I had bought. Looking down off the porch at all the new plants in the finely tilled beds made me all happy inside.

Looking down at those plants, I knew that life was good again. Or had it ever not been. A few trials to test your meddle can be a good thing. While everything had been going wrong, life was still good for us. My wife had to endure no running water for a couple of weeks, no AC for a while, no computer [she needs the computer, I just play on the computer] and a little tightening of the purse strings for a bit. And all that with no complaints.

It reminded me of something my Mother told me when I told her I was going to ask Lyn to marry me. She told me that she thought Lyn was the right one, but I had to know she was the right one. Because life with the right one would always be good but life with the wrong one would be hell.

I'm back to a new computer, back to the blog again, got some new plants started, I can smell a new loaf of homemade bread, fresh out of the oven, and my wife told me she loves me before she went to bed. Again, I think Mom was right, life's not just good now, it's always been good.