I waited until dark—which is quite late when you live on the western edge of the Eastern timezone—turned off the lights, and carefully, slowly, quietly parted the blinds so I could see out into the back garden.
What did I see?
I saw shadows across the patio where my porch light was on, but beyond that, where the vandalism took place, I saw only the dark. Did I think I had suddenly developed the ability to see everything in the dark?
I had not.
I needed a bit of light to see, as we all do. So I grabbed a flashlight and, again, quietly parted the blinds so I could see out into the back garden, and flicked on the flashlight. As they say, “I was this many years old,” when I realized that if you try to shine a flashlight through a window to see out into the dark, you’ll only see someone else shining a flashlight right back at you.
Had I not learned that as a child? If I had, I had forgotten it.
(And flashlights with LED lightbulbs are bright and can nearly blind a person if you shine it right in their eyes!)
Clearly, if my investigation was going to bring forth any clues, I had to go out into the back garden, step away from the porch light into the dark, and then turn on my flashlight to see if I could catch the vandals in the act.
What act of vandalism am I investigating?
I am investigating vandalism in my back lawn.
Who is attempting to dig, and sometimes successfully dig up, something in my back lawn? That “something” is probably crocus corms, thousands of which I have planted in my back lawn, where they have been flowering, feeding bees, and setting seeds for years.
Most of the time, the vandals just leave little indentations all over, but occasionally, they dig a bit deeper and probably actually find their prize of a little crocus corm.
But I’ve never seen remnants of crocus corms, and clearly, I have a lot of crocuses blooming in the lawn in early spring each year, so they may be digging for something else.
Perhaps they are digging for grubs, the larval stage of the dreaded, most awful, destructive Japanese beetles?
Clap, clap, clap, squeal with glee, and do a little happy jig at the very thought of it.
If they are looking for grubs, I’m happy to have whoever it is return every night to dig in the back lawn. They are welcome to eat as many as possible before those grubs emerge as adult Japanese beetles in late June and begin eating their way through my garden. I’ll even provide drinks!
One can hope.
But if it’s the crocus corms they are after? Fortunately, I have planted so many corms and seen so many seeds form that I am fairly confident that they are unlikely to eat all of them at this point.
Perhaps while my investigation continues—and it shall because I’m merely at the beginning, which involves pondering, developing theories, and writing this post to see if anyone has any other ideas about who (probably chipmunks), what (if not corms or grubs), and why (I’m not sure I really care why!), etc. to go with my where (the lawn), when (at night)—I’ll order a few hundred more crocus corms to plant this fall. (Sorry about that long sentence.)
Just in case.
(Because we all know that now is the best time to order bulbs for fall planting, before they are sold out, and before you think about who and how you’ll plant that many bulbs in the fall.)