Friday, May 15

Schizophrenic Azaleas, Foxes and Postponed Vacations

Back about 8 years ago, my former son-in-law went with me to buy azaleas, to replace the ones that were so old and overgrown that we had to remove them from the front flower bed. I selected 5 coral pink plants that were blooming at that time (April). They bloomed out well that first year and then didn't bloom at all for 2 years. After that, they bloomed in August, but not in the spring. Last year, the five plants put out about 2 single blooms in May and nothing in August. This year, as you can see, they are blooming when they are supposed to - although they wouldn't win any awards for quantity of blooms. I suppose I should just be happy with what I get when I get it, right?

This morning I was on the computer (upstairs) when I heard mr. kenju say "UH-OH!" Then I heard a series of sounds that came from the 7th circle of Hell: "Rrrhhhhaaawwwrrrrr" and other gutteral sounding threats, such as "Get out of here!". Then the back door opened and I heard ...."Come on, baby, hurry up; he won't get you!". When I finally got down the stairs, I found out that our resident fox had trapped one of my cats on the deck , backing her into a corner. She didn't see the fox at first and then she was scared silly, of course. She froze until Mr. kenju voiced his displeasure to the fox and the fox looked away, allowing my cat to run to safety.

I asked mr. kenju where the fox had gone when he/she left our yard, and he indicated toward the driveway (which runs from the street all the way to our backyard). A few minutes later, I was standing at the kitchen sink when I saw the fox come from the driveway across the deck by the pool and he/she stopped on the far side of the deck and stared at me, not blinking or moving. I made a move toward the door and the fox jumped off the high side of the deck into the yard.

I wouldn't want to harm the fox, but I would like to think that I could let my cats out on the deck without some animal coming into our property to stalk them. Do you know of anything I could do to discourage the fox from coming back? Is there a particular smell they fear?


Over Memorial Day, a family member booked a suite at the Marriott Grande Dunes time-shares in Myrtle Beach, and various member of the family were going to come and go during a 5 day period. Mr. kenju will be there with his brother. Because I have to work from Thursday through Sunday of that week, I was going to travel to the beach on Memorial Day and stay for 2 nights. A friend from my home town was coming here and then riding to the beach with me, and I was looking forward to having that time with her. I found out yesterday that she can't come because her son has to have surgery that weekend, so I decided not to go either. I will be tired from working four days in a row and I don't want to drive that distance by myself when I am that tired. The beach will definitely be missed, but we can go some other time, and I will have a mini-vacation here at home, just me and the cats.


srp said...

I think there might be something you could sprinkle around your deck. I've seen it for squirrels and raccoons... try googling it.

The calla lilies that I planted are coming back... I had no idea they would, actually hoped they wouldn't as I like them in wedding bouquets but not in a flowerbed. I understand you have to be careful with them in bouquets as their sap is quite caustic. We will see what we get!

Nyssa saw her first tornado yesterday... in Kay County. They followed it for ten minutes and got quite a few pictures. She is ecstatic!

Grannymar said...

Judy, take a look at this:-

Sorry you are missing the holiday, make sure to switch off while at home & rest well.

Gilly said...

We used to have a visiting fox. Until we got a dog.

Have a good rest!

Star said...

Where I live the soil is perfect for azaleas. Everyone has them. Big and colorful. We had bushes when we moved in. They were badly overgrown. We kept at them but finally decided to replace them. Diging them up was a chore. We replanted. They died. Did it again. One lived one season, then it died. We have rose bushes now. they are doing fine. The only house in the neighborhood with no azaleas.

Star said...

Oh- I forgot to say, enjoy our weekend. Sometime being by yourself is the vacation. And you'll miss all the traffc.

Arkansas Patti said...

What Grannymar said about the fox repellant. I once owned two foxes and they are very smart creatures. Could you rent a dog for a few days? They will avoid dog encounters.
Sorry your vacation got postponed after you went through the joys of buying a bathing suit. At least you are ready for the next beach adventure.
Enjoy your quiet time. Sometimes it is best.

Peter said...

Judy, the smell of gun smoke is an excellent deterrent to foxes.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I think the vacation at home sounds far preferable than making any long drives. Just think: you'll save money on gas and food AND get to sleep in your own bed!

robin andrea said...

I hope you'll keep us posted on the fox deterrents. I'm curious what will work.

Staying home on Memorial Day weekend, avoiding all that traffic on the way to the coast, sounds like a good thing to me. Enjoy the quiet.

sage said...

a particular smell they fear? gunpowder! Wow, I haven't seen foxes that close except for on Isle Royale. But our deer are getting more and more friendly and the other day one followed me (keeping about 20 feet behind me) all the way to the back door! Whenever I turned around, he bow his head and start nibbling grass, but when I resumed walking, he'd follow. I thought as a human, I was suppose to stalk the deer!

Seamus said...

Is this a red fox or a gray fox?

I'm kindda at a loss since we actively attract and feed our gray fox. I do know they don't like the smell of dog - but I suppose you'd have to get one! I'm surprised that it was being that aggressive. Our fox and cats all just hang together. Gryphon had his first encounter with a fox last night - he and Simon (the alpha male fox) just stood there looking at each other - both were rather nonplussed.
That kind of aggressiveness may be due to the fox being ill (distemper or rabies) - keep a good eye out.

Darlene said...

I love azaleas above all other flowers (maybe roses make it a tie) but it's too hot here for them. I tried growing them once, but after the initial blooming they died. I even tried growing them in a container, but the same thing happened. I have given up.

rosemary said...

No fox solutions.....we have never tried to fight nature here...except for the bears one summer and we lost. Do you have cat food out there? I vote for the time alone too. Sometimes when Steve is gone the quiet and not hearing my name called a dozen times a day is kind of sweet.

Tabor said...

I think our resident fox died. He was not a problem because we have no small animals living with us. Have a peaceful memorial day. I also will be alone the weekend leading up to it.

moon said...

To bad u arent going but I would do the same,driving tired is so dangerous. A friend of mine just had a horrible accident just ariving to town, closed her eyes and drove into a light pole, was so lucky not to die, she had broken many parts of the left side of her body.
Your flowers look lovely...I saw a Martha Stewart episode a few weeks ago where they had lots of different plants recommended to keep wild life away, like deer and such, I can't remember much what the plants were but maybe looking up her show, will give u that info in their archives.

Duke_of_Earle said...

Just saw your comment on Facebook! We want pictures of the fox family!!


NellJean said...

All my first thoughts have been voiced by others:
Borrow a dog. If you can't borrow a dog, maybe friends with shaggy pets will give you their floorsweepings that have dog hair.
Gunpower, er, gunpowder
Rabies? Foxes also harbor some kind of worms that are dangerous when transmitted to humans.

My other thoughts:
Animal control, does your county/town have animal control?

... and my parting thought, have Mr. Kenju wear the same T-shirt for several days running without bathing, or maybe a couple of T-shirts and put them in baskets on the deck. The man-smell should discourage the fox.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

The Azaleas look BEAUTIFUL! I am reading backwards so I know the Fox returned with Family! Your poor kitty....I'm so glad he/she got away from that Fox!

I bet you haqve a lovely time at home, Judy...And hopefully it will be restful...ENJOY it, my dear!