Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fishpond of the Damned

WARNING - this post contains potential gross out!!

It's a never-ending aggravation, this fish-pond. The raccoons are killing the fish. I have been reading about how to repel them, and also about how to provide stones and more plants for the fish to hide from predators.

With that in mind, I went to two local nurseries to buy some water plants. The state of plant nurseries in West Los Angeles is sorry. Since I moved here in1997, three that were close to my home have closed. I went to one huge place in Marina del Rey, only to find out they don't have water and pond plants.

I went to one tiny place in Ocean Park at my lunch break, and they had only a few things, but I bought a plant called Amenopsis californica - pretty white flowers and arrow-shaped leaves. While there, I asked if they knew any tricks for repelling raccoons from ponds.

Sprinkle the edge of your pond with cayenne pepper, said one guy.

I settled the plant in the water, thinking I would go this weekend and look for some more bricks and stones to build a platform for it, with lots of hiding places before I attempt to stock more fish. And I found yet another sign of the massacre.

I ran upstairs and grabbed a container of cayenne pepper.

Now all the goldfish are gone. There are still some tiny grey mosquito fish, nibbling bugs off the surface of the water.

This morning I was talking on the phone and stepped out on the deck, and glanced down at the pond. The cayenne pepper was still sprinkled on the pond's edge, but something in the water looked strange.....

What is that? the pond?

After I got off the phone, I went downstairs to investigate.

Picture shrunk to protect the squeamish. Click to enlarge at risk of total gross out.

It's a drowned rat. Lying next to my new plant. I did warn you.

Do you think it was the raccoons? Or the cayenne pepper? Or was it dropped by a hawk?

What am I going to do about this? I am extremely grossed out by dead rats. I think I am more grossed out by dead rats than I am about live ones. And this one is in the pond - GROSS! How am I going to fish it out? Yet if I selfishly leave it there, waiting for [The Man I Love] to rescue me when he returns on Tuesday, it will only get grosser.

Is there some brave neighborhood lad that will help me? Or should I just steel myself, get a tool with a really long handle, and give it a try??????

This is the Fishpond of the Damned.

UPDATE: 1:35 pm

I think I deserve a medal.


Anonymous said...

Oh, cheeseandrice, you are a hero - damn I don't know how I would have coped. Closed my eyes and hoped for good aim? But at least now I know who I can call. Well done, chick!!!

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

I don't know whether to laugh or cry or poke out my own eyeballs.

Oh my!

KBeau said...

You did exactly what I would have done--get out the old shovel with the really long handle. I've used this for dead birds, but I've never had to get rid of anything as gross as a dead rat. Just to know that such a thing was hanging out around my house would send me into orbit.

The painting I wrote about is owned by my son. He was friends with the artist and purchased it from her. He lives in Little Rock.

mo.stoneskin said...

Phew, I'm glad I have already eaten my lunch...

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

well, sorry, I still think racoons are cute :)

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

ugh ugh ugh

you deserve something very very nice for taking a lose-the-squeamish pill and getting that rat out.

we're having a totally bizarre problem here on Wooster Square. We have a rabid raccoon that they can't seem to catch. Everybody is afraid it's going to infest the squirrels in the square (of which there are a kwazillion) - or attack a dog, child - or ME - as it's not scared of the daylight at all.

Nature can be so cruel - and gross!

KathyR said...

A medal and a very large alcoholic beverage. And a lie down.

cactus petunia said...

(Sound of hundreds of hands clapping) You go, girl!

Personally, I would have left it there for a day or two as a warning to the raccoons...

Life with Kaishon said...

Oh my gosh! You absolutely deserve a medal. This is scary! ICK!

Woman in a Window said...

Fish pond of the damned...and dead! and spicy! Cayenne, yum. Dead rat, not so much.

Nej said...

Bravo! :-)

kcinnova said...

You *DO* deserve a medal! I could not have coped. I had one neighbor fish a dead bird out of our pond, and another neighbor (age 72) remove a 3-day-old dead opossum from its hiding place in my garage... all the while, I was standing in the middle of the cul de sac shrieking, "Ick! Ick! Ick" (yes, I am a wimp).

I hope you don't have nightmares. I would.