Black masked bandits

I spent a busy and happy evening working on my “garden” on the deck. In spite of the cool weather we’ve been having, most of my seedlings are well on their way. The nasturtiums are swallowing up one whole side of the deck, and the lettuce and spinach that are sharing the same containers are straining their necks to see over top of them. The peas are about 2 feet tall now, and the bush sweet peas that I started back in February are lush and thick. In another corner, double pink and white columbines are blooming, and the multi-coloured Johnny Jump-Ups are spreading and blooming like crazy. They like this weather. The antique roses that I dug up from a graveyard a couple of weeks ago seem to have taken, and the two clematis’ that I transplanted from the yard below are strong and healthy.

Not so happy are my orchids. The most tender and heat-loving varieties are back in the porch, on the floor, waiting for warmer weather. The rest are outside and for the most part ailing — the leaves are turning yellow and brown and I’m afraid my zygos are going to turn up their toes. My orchid cactus’ are also very unhappy — but I’ll think they’ll spring back. I just hope the weather turns warm soon.

So far, no more serious encounters with the raccon. I’ve been locking my door at night, tight. My friend Tanya, a parole officer in the area, was over for dinner this week and chided me for my lackadaisical attitude about locking my doors. “Where do you think you live???”, she demanded, thinking of the nasty characters she deals with every day. Well, I am in the middle of the city, but it’s taken a four-legged bandit with a mask on to convince me to beef up security. My neighbour tells me that there are four or five of the critters living in the tree beside my garage. Realizing I’m outnumbered, I’ve given up any thoughts of trying to live-trap.

I’m either an optimist or a fool, but I fertilized the plants tonight. Maybe I’m tempting the fates, but I applied a diluted/liquid form of fish fertilizer and blood meal. If that’s not an invitation for a hungry raccon, I don’t know what is.  And I turned out the lights on the deck tonight — I’ve been leaving them on all night to discourage the rascals. It’s not great for the health of the plants AND my hydro bill. Let just see if the garden makes it through the night unscathed.

Unscathed. Well, that certainly does not describe my loveable cat this evening. He had a pretty rough fight with a neighbours cat a few hours ago. I turned the hose on them, and even THAT didn’t break it up. Jake and I had to go charging down the stairs like the calvary coming over the hill. Mousepad fled up the stairs, a big chunk of white fur hanging out of his mouth, and tufts of his own black fur sticking out in long rakes along his side.  I’m going to have to try to keep him inside as much as possible, I shudder to think how far it could have gone without intervention.

All hopes of leaving the sliding doors open to summer breezes this summer are fading fast…..