Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Ivy and the Willow Tree

Vines (5)This is my willow tree. It sits silently in the corner of our backyard swaying gently when a breeze blows and providing shade on summer days. I love my willow tree.
   image When I first saw it I secretly hoped it would come to life and dole out wise advice like the willow tree in Pocahontas. It’s hard to give up on a little girl’s fantasies.

Vines (5)As you can see, my tree is covered in ivy. I fully admit I knew zip about plants and gardening when we made the move to our house so I thought the ivy was a nice perk to an already beautiful tree. Then my astute mother came over and set me straight on the dangers of ivy (maybe I don’t need the tree from Pocahontas after all) She brought me up to speed on the fact that ivy is actually bad and will strangle the tree and eventually kill it. Suddenly I was picturing something from a Stephen King novel; an unstoppable force of ivy that would sneak into my bedroom in the dead of night and strangle me too… My imagination takes on a life of it’s own at times.
  Vines (2)So I got to work pulling and yanking and jerking these ropey buggers out of the ground. After hours of sweaty upper body pain and countless bug bites I got to this point and decided to call it a day.

Vines (4)And what’s a girl to do with all the scary bug filled branches? Pack them into waste bags apparently. This is only five of the never ending bags being filled up around here.

Vines (3)  There was still a ton of vines entwined in the top of the tree but removing the bottoms rooted into the ground kills them off so the plan was to give it a week or so and come back out with a rake to get all the dead brown vines down.
  Coon (5)After a few days of some major heat the vines got what were coming to them. We were good to go.

original coon I saw this! There are a family of baby racoons living up in the tree!!!
         Coon (11) My first thought was, ‘Yikes! Those are vicious right?’ Looking back at this critter who had locked eyes with me and let out an angry GRRR! suddenly my mind went to a very different Disney movie moment:
image Run Pumba!
*I think I just called myself a wart-hog*
Coon (10)But eventually I realized that these were little babies. Three to be exact. They were cuddled up together in a sleepy ball yawning at my interruption of their snuggle time and probably more scared of me and my incessant clicking camera than I of them.
 DSC08837Then I thought about my chubby nugget of a cat and how racoons have a reputation of brawling with cats. When my cat is scared she quite often takes on the pose you see above in hopes you will just move on. I may as well bring her out to the racoons on a silver platter with these fighting skills. But alas, she is a strictly indoor kitty, that is, when she doesn’t slip past us and out the door for a few minutes of freedom before we chase her back inside.
Coon (14) So I decided they won’t be much threat and I would leave the babies alone in their willow tree home. They are too cute to serve an eviction notice to in the form of a rake. Hopefully they just move on to a new home and our battle with the ivy will continue onto it’s next saga.
Stay tuned…
*Photo credit Disney and Reckless Bliss*


Amber @ fromtheseeds said...

Sooo cute! I love the baby racoons! I would keep them too! Your nugget kitty is precious!!

Jeannine 520 said...

Cats can tangle with raccoons but in my experience, it's rare. My yard is full of raccoons and they eat the cat food on my porch alongside my cats and have never acted aggressively towards them. The raccoons just ignore the cats and the cats seem bewildered watching the raccoons play in the birdbaths. I'm glad you decided to leave them be, they're a much more gentle creature than they're given credit for being.

Peter Combs said...

Not sure if this site is still being monitored, but I’m going to give this a go... oddly enough, I’m looking for some information on raccoons who specifically live in Weeping Willow trees. Weird, right? Long story short, I’m writing a story for my five year old son and for some reason the raccoon in my story seems to live in a Weeping Willow tree, but I don’t want to write it that way if that’s ridiculous. I can’t find any info online but came across your blog and wondered if you’d indulge me by answering a couple of questions. First, did the raccoons live in the tree for very long? Were they living inside the tree? I’ve seen pictures of racccoons who live in hollowed out trees but I’ve also seen those that simply live on the tree. Lastly, did you notice anything odd or interesting about the raccoons living habits? Anyway, I know this comment is very strange and I know that this site may be defunct at this point. Figured I’d give it a shot. Thanks!

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Thanks for sharing!