Clark Hollow Ramblings: The garden invaders

You might remember I told you a few weeks ago that my corn was ready. We have been enjoying corn on the cob for a couple of weeks now. It is super-sweet and super good. And my bride and I are not the only ones who have been enjoying it.

I went out last Saturday to pull some more corn, and at the end of the row there laid an ear of corn with the shuck pulled down and something with sharp teeth had eaten most of the corn. I have been watching a groundhog in the back field and I thought it might have been him. The strange thing was, there was only the one ear of corn that had been eaten.

Corn-eaters keep each other company in the live trap, awaiting a trip a few miles down the road.Richard Brady | Rappahannock News
Corn-eaters keep each other company in the live trap, awaiting a trip a few miles down the road.

I got a live trap, that doesn’t hurt the animal and set it up. A year or two ago I had caught a big old coon that was eating my corn, but I kept thinking that if it was a coon, he would probably have eaten more than one ear, unless something scared him.

Anyway, I went to all the trouble of setting up the trap, and blocking off the sides and top. I used a can of wet cat food and some corn to bait the trap. I wore gloves while I setting up the trap, and was careful to leave as little human scent around as possible. I just wasn’t sure what I might catch, and hoped it wasn’t somebody’s cat.

Sunday morning came and the trap was empty, and the corn hadn’t been touched. Lucky for us, we decided the corn was full enough, so we pulled the most of it Sunday evening and put it in the refrigerator. I was in the house Monday morning doing something and Linda hollered in the door that I had better come out to the garden.

Before I could get out there, Linda said I had caught two coons. I thought she was joking. I had no idea how that live trap would catch two animals at once, but that was what I had in the trap. I had caught a big old momma coon and a youngster about two-thirds grown. I can’t even begin to explain how that happened. Maybe momma went in first and the young one rushed in before she threw the trap. I thought maybe the young one went in and got trapped and she pushed the trap door open and went in to get him out. But, that is not very likely; there is a pretty secure latch that drops down when the trap is thrown and the door is shut.

Anyway, in case you are wondering, and I know some of you are, I didn’t make raccoon pot pies or have baked coon. My bride has a soft heart and since she found them, I took her advice and drove them down the road a few miles next to a small stream and let them go. They will be a bit disoriented for a day or two, but if the coyotes don’t get them, they should be all right.

I trust you have been staying out of this awful heat, and your air conditioning and fans are working okay. I have halfway been waiting for a power failure, but I hope that doesn’t happen. If it does, and you are in the Flint Hill area, I see that my good friends at the Flint Hill Fire Department have put in a big generator. So, if worse comes to worse, we could sit in the fire hall where it is cool and tell garden stories to one another. God bless.

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