Whenever we (the kids) were too loud, my Granny would say, "Shhh...there are fairies at the bottom of the garden."
I don't remember that quieting us down. Why did we need to be quiet for the fairies? And what were they doing at the bottom of the garden, anyways? Besides, yelling at fairies is fun. Now, though, I'm wondering if the fairies have been working on a little payback.
Usually, when I'm taking Nanuq out for a walk in the morning, I like to tour around my yard and note the changes, whether its a new flower on the pepper plants or new weeds to pluck out of the vegetable beds. This is usually what I do, but didn't today. It was pouring rain this morning, so I decided to wait until it cleared this evening before taking Nanuq out and doing my tour of the yard.
I noticed it right away. There was something different about the yard. It might have been the large, stale, and slightly soggy bun lying in the middle of the grass that tipped me off. "Now, what the heck is a large, stale, and slightly soggy bun doing laying in the middle of the grass?" I asked myself. I picked up the bun, walked it to the door and passed it in to Fawn to dispose of appropriately.
I continued my tour and walked by the currant bushes. There were currants missing. Lots and lots of green, unripe currants were not where they should have been. They weren't on the ground. They weren't anywhere I could see. Given that the currants were growing at least a foot off the ground on spindly branches, I doubt the squirrels got to them (unless they've taken to jumping and picking). "Now, where the heck did all those green, unripe currents go?" I asked myself, before proceeding into the greenhouse.
Everything in the greenhouse looked normal at least, except for...the beads of water on the leaves of the diablo and habanero peppers? There weren't any beads of water on any of the other plants, not even the bell peppers. There wasn't a leak in the roof. "Now, why the heck would there be beads of water on the leaves diablo and habanero peppers and not on any of the other plants?" I asked myself, before searching for the source of this mysterious phenomenon and finding none.
I continued my tour and found three sets of dog droppings in the far back corner of my yard. Based on the diameter, colour, age and composition, two of the three sets were from one dog. The fresher set, which was not much fresher than the first set, was from a larger dog, possibly, but unlikely, Nanuq. Neither set was there yesterday. "Now, where did these dog droppings in the far back corner of my yard come from?" I asked myself, before grabbing a rake and flinging the freshest set into the trees behind our yard. I scooped the second and third batches, both of which had absorbed a great deal of water, and flung them over the fence, the third set slipping through the rake and sticking to the fence before I managed to get it the rest of the way over.
As I continued the tour, I noticed that there was rhubarb and other plant matter added to our compost bin that didn't come from our house. "Are there parties going on in my backyard without me knowing about it?" I cried. Ok, so I didn't really say that out loud, but I thought it. And I wanted to know the reasons for all the unexplained phonomena in my backyard.
I got the answer to two of them tonight. I mentioned the compost to one of the neighbour kids this evening and she explained that she had put the rhubarb there and her mother had put the other compost there. She didn't have an explanation for any of the rest, though it is possible that their dog was responsible for the larger dropping (though it might have been Nanuq).
The source of the smaller droppings, and based on the size and composition, also the scoure of the smaller droppings in my front yard (which haven't appeared in the front yard since my posting about what I would do if I caught the offending dog), made its presence this evening. Just as Fawn and I were about to watch a movie, I noticed a small black dog strolling into our backyard like she owned the place. Nanuq and I dashed out into the yard to scare away the offending creature and Nanuq, bless his little heart, growled and chased the little dog right back to where it came from. A place with a perfectly manicured lawn. I wonder how they keep their lawn looking so good. Hmmm...
I have decided to try the tactful approach first, and go talk to the owner. If that fails, there's always Plan B.
I still don't know the answers to the other backyard mysteries. Maybe I'll never know, but that doesn't mean I won't try to find out.