Yesterday, while mowing, I noticed that the raised Strawberry bed I planted last year was finally producing a few red berries. There were lots of green berries and about half a dozen red berries. I also noticed that my “hen of the woods” mushroom that grows in the crotch of my maple tree every year had reached about 10” in diameter. Typically, it grows to around 4 or 5 pounds every year.
This morning, I decided I would go pick those red berries for my lunch. Unfortunately, every berry in the entire bed was gone, including all the green ones. Not only that, my prize mushroom was gone from the maple tree as well.
Now one might consider an opossum or raccoon as the culprit, but I have 5 dogs out back that kill every ‘possum or ‘**** that ever ventures onto the property. They absolutely go nuts if any animal comes into their yard. In fact, they have developed a habit of standing on their back legs on top of their dog houses just so they can see further across the meadow, field and woods that is adjacent to our property. Barking at the wildlife is their favorite pastime.
Now for the really weird part: Not only did all my berries and my prize mushroom disappear last night, but my water faucet on the backside of the house was turned on and left on as well. And it’s not the first time that this has happened. In fact, because this has happened before, I always make a point of turning the faucet off very tightly to rule out vibrations or some other natural occurrence.
The dogs did not make a sound last night, which is very unusual in of itself. Usually they are barking at this or that or whatever but they were quiet from about 11pm to daybreak. I didn’t think much about it until finding the thievery this morning.
As I mentioned, this not the first time strange things have happened here. In the last 3 years, the faucet has been turned on, and left on, 10 to 12 times during the overnight hours. Stranger yet, it always occurs between early June and early December.
Last year, my pear tree was stripped completely clean in one night. There were pears in the top of that tree that were 12 feet off the ground but every last one of them was gone! There was well over a bushel of pears in that tree and even if a deer could avoid the attention of my dogs, there is no evidence that they can climb trees!
Two years ago, every cantaloupe in my garden disappeared in a single night. I had my favorite dog, Duke, tied out on a running cable next to the garden to keep the wildlife in check. He would typically kill several ‘possums or ‘***** every summer. He made no noise that night. I would have awoken if he had because my bedroom window is nearby. Duke was the best dog I’ve ever owned.
The weirdest part of that whole incident is this: There were no tracks of any kind in the garden the next morning. That garden measures 25 feet by 100 feet and I scoured it for any signs of prints and found nothing. I remember having to wear overshoes because parts of the garden were still wet from the rain we received 2 days earlier.
Late last summer, Duke was killed while on guard duty next to that same garden. I found his 90 pound body laying half way into his doghouse with a broken neck. I know his neck was broken because his head was twisted back beneath his body as though his body was shoved into the doghouse.
I have never told the wife and kids the details of our beloved pet’s demise because, frankly, I can’t bear the thought of moving back into the city.
There is also a woods across the street from our home. It drops down into a draw just 30 feet from the road. On more than one occasion in the evening hours, I have had the sensation that I was being watched. On a couple of occasions, my son and I have heard heavy footsteps coming from that draw during the dusk to dark part of the day. I used to think it might be a hunter or hiker or something, but whenever I have looked down into the draw from above, I’ve never seen anyone or anything. To tell you the truth, since our dog was killed, I don’t look anymore… I just go inside…
Obviously, night vision and trail cams might be helpful but they are price prohibitive for me at this juncture in life.
BTW, we live in the northern third of Indiana which hasn’t had any bears in 200 years.
So, has anyone else ever experienced anything like this? If so, what was the cause?