Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dangerous Thugs in the Neighborhood

We are dealing with some thugs in the neighborhood. They're not what you might think. One has been hiding out in my yard, growing exponentially and taking over a corner.

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It looks lovely doesn't it? So green and inviting. This is a stock image and I can guarantee you that it's the cultivated variety because the wild gooseberry is evil incarnate. It has some of the wildest and dangerous thorns I've ever encountered in the plant world. The thorns make a rose bush seem like a powder puff.

These would create an impenetrable barrier in the wild. Are birds able to get close enough to feed on these? I'm not sure.

As if that wasn't enough we have another dangerous thug. One of my neighbors encountered this thug walking down the middle of the road late one night.


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Yes folks, we have a BOBCAT roaming the area. And no, I didn't take this photo either.

Our neighbor is qualified to identify a bobcat when she sees one because her winter home is in Arizona and she sees them down there. A quick call to the local authorities confirmed that yes, bobcats have been sighted in the area.

What the??? I've never heard of bobcats in northern Illinois. We must warn all the new residents who have fled from the city and suburbia that you cannot leave your small dogs unattended outside. In addition to the bobcat there are coyotes, red tail hawks (very large) and large owls.

OK, how about you? What thugs are you dealing with?




14 comments:

Steph said...

We have some sort of cougar/panthers around here. They have been spotted by people and caught on game cameras, but the game and wildlife officials say "they do not exist in Alabama". They have attacked people's pets and livestock, but since they "don't exist" no one will do anything about it. Except tell us it is illegal to shoot them.

Cheryl said...

Please don't kill them. After reading Barbara Kingsolver's book, Prodical Summer, I was enlightened to the plight of predator animals. We have rattlesnakes to contend with, coyotes that roam at night, but they all have their place in nature (not inside my house though!)

Kay said...

We've had coyotes, a bobcat or two, black bears when the food runs out in the mountains, copperheads & a few rattlesnakes along with water moccasins, hawks & owls, and buzzards. Oh, and rednecks with guns. :)

Terri said...

Well, since you asked...
for thorns we have berries - a big black variety - very yummy, but toxic to touch... but even those thorns are nothing compared to lemons, and other citris fruit. And the benign apricot, which has no thorns, but can lay out a nasty scratch from somewhere. Wear long sleeves and pants while picking, and you'll only get scratches on face and hands.
Then you want wild animals. We have mountain lions who use the bike paths and find cats and dogs and an occasional person. (The yuppy bleeding hearts don't want them to be shot. They'd rather someone gets eaten!) We remind the Hubs that his sis calls him "Cat Chow" because he has seen the beasts on the walk path, while he was alone! (I always carry rocks while we walk - ) We also have had a coyote in our neighborhood, and rattlesnakes in backyards in the neighborhood and on the walkway. Of course, there are turkey herds and deer... not all the wildlife is poisonous or that dangerous. We do reside with black widows, too. It's not just all "fruits and nuts" who live here. Hugs from CA!

Kay said...

I should also mention that a couple of years ago, someone "spotted" a "bigfoot-type critter". The man who "saw" it may have been drinking some of his own brand of 'shine, though. LOL

Anonymous said...

Our next door neighbors have had a young bear come swimming in their pool for the past couple of days. They have a really nice pool with a great view. He just lolls around and swims then climbs over the wall and goes home. M from Monrovia, CA

Chris said...

I've had a mother bear and two cubs try and break into my house while I was cooking dinner... they riped the screen on our porch and I had to run and shut the door in between! Otherwise it's been pretty tame here in VT. Snakes in the garden today and house spiders to knock down... rural live... happy bliss... C.

MaddiesMom said...

We have a coyote problem here in Long Beach CA - they are getting so bold as to roam the residential neighborhoods in the evenings.

Thirkellgirl said...

We had a big snapping turtle come through the yard a few days ago, and then she dug a hole next to our composter bin to lay eggs. But she encountered tree roots and moved on. Dear husband is on the hunt, because according to the biologists he works with she wouldn't have moved far, and she prefers to lay on top of a hill (out of flood plains, isn't that cool?). Dear daughter the naturalist has raised two snappers from quarter-sized over the years, and relocated many more from the camp pond to the reservoir, so I don't think they're as disgusting as I used to. :)

Mary Rex said...

It would be funny to see a bear swimming laps in the pool...from a safe distance! And Chris, those bears must have liked the smell of your cooking. Very scary!

The worst predator in our neighborhood is the neighbor's pet cat. She sits in the bushes while I am watching the birds and chipmunks and tries to pounce. I've asked them to keep her inside...especially after she killed the little frog in my pond...but they feel she would be too unhappy kept inside. We do have township codes (and fines) against free-roaming pets, and someone else has already reported them...but I really like these two women, and don't want to become the neighborhood curmudgeon. :( Please keep your pet cats inside.

LDF said...

Bears and moose. Occasionally deer. A pair of fox. Or should I say foxes? We hear coyotes but have never seen them. Pretty normal for NW Canada. We watched a mama Moose and young calf from our balcony last weekend as they nibbled young willow branches. The wildlife keeps my (indoor) cat entertained. After our last balcony bear sighting, she raced from window to window for the better part of an hour trying to spot it again!

Anonymous said...

Fun, fun, fun....
Fire ants...who eat electrical wire in air conditioners,
Armadillos...who eat roots and carry leperosy,
Possums...who like hot attics! Linda

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Voles that tunnel under the groung--I think they are attracted to my cannas! They leave dangerous holes that you can break an ankle in if you're not careful! How to get rid of them?
We have fox, coyotes and probably bears back on the ridge behind our property which is about 8.5 acres. We've seen fox, coyote and twice a huge great horned owl!
V

Nance said...

oh yep, for me too, in southern Iowa. Rednecks with guns, for sure. Take care! ya'all!