Quails & Masks

The porcupine is still alive and kicking, its tracks are in the usual spots on the land. It picked a new pine tree to spend the night feeding in this Winter, very much in the same area as last year’s. Definitely a creature of habit, it’s been living in the same house, following the same habits for as long as we started paying attention 5 years ago.

We set the trail cam at the entrance of the collapsed barn where it lives.


The poor fellow wasn’t expecting my deep track on its usual path and stumbled into it 🙂


5 minutes later… Really cool animals.

-1 racoon

After the keets were taken out by a racoon, we bought a trap. We left store bought corn in there for weeks, but the racoon has standards and prefers local organic stuff. So instead it destroyed some of our corn plants not 10 feet away from the trap. As with the keets, leaving 80% the food untouched. Their modus operandi: destroying everything and taking a couple of bites is extremely enraging.

The day I found our half eaten corn cobs on the ground, I decided it was time for the big guns. I opened a can of super fancy French canned fish we reserve for special occasions.

I reluctantly shared a tiny bit of it with the trap, and special occasioned the rest myself.

It had been many nights of failure, but this stuff is potent, and so the very same night, the racoon was trapped. Proving once again that French food is to die for.

Notice how it pulled inside 30′ of the string I had attached to the trap’s handle and proceeded to gnaw and pee on it. It’s only fair that it would spend all night being a jerk under the circumstances.

I had setup the trail cam next to the trap,

and now I know there’s 2… So far though, second one seems to have wisened up to what the trap means, or maybe the stench of pee and fear hormones isn’t an enticing accompaniment to a fancy diner.

Counter Measures

The fauna has taken a huge bite out of our work this year. A woodchuck ate the garden, crows ravaged the blueberry plants, deer went after young fruit trees & currants, finally a racoon simply killed all the keets and didn’t even eat them. One animal after another has gone after our work and voided much of it, this is the first year this happens to such a scale and it is making us feel besieged.

It’s interesting just how much brutal competition there is in nature. I used to think of nature as an idealized garden of Eden, but it’s closer to a ruthless competition which often ends in death. I despise man’s expansionist dominance over nature, yet living closer to nature means participating in the competition. Hawks circles over our baby, ticks & mosquitoes suck our blood, raccoons take out our flocks, deer reap the fruits of our sweat. I’m fine with letting nature get its share but nature is perfectly fine taking it all. I don’t enjoy exerting human dominance but I can’t let that go, it’s time to be more aggressive.


Intel gathering


The little fuckers parade around the chicken coop like they own the place


Unfortunately not at a set time at which I could throw them a little welcome party


A trap does stay up all night, notice to pull string in case the skunk gets in there


Well at least I caught something with the box the trap came in


Super scary scarecrow


The trees are now in prison until they have more mass