Attack 2

Marauder caught in act!

The malacious marauder that inflicted severe wounds to the Split Rock cactus was caught in the act this morning!

As chronicled earlier, the Split Rock cactus was discovered Wednesday morning suffering from wounds inflicted during the previous night (or so it was assumed at the time). To make bad matters worse, evidence of a repeat attack was discovered on Friday morning. (Wednesday night, the cactus had been covered over at nightfall with a protective bucket.)

I set about to hatch a plan to find out who or what was invading my patio to inflict this pain and suffering on my prized cactus. Although I was convinced that it was the neighbor's cat, I — unlike our President — wanted to have proof before launching a pre-emptive attack.

With the help of technology, I implemented my stake-out of the patio. I trained my camera on the Split Rock cactus and put it under the control of motion-detection software that would capture the evil-doer in flagrante delicto.

Early this morning I was awakened by alerts coming from my laptop next to the bed. Unfortunately, these first alerts proved to be false alarms, set off by the changing light as the sun rose. Well, when the shadow moves, that is motion I guess.

Then, paydirt — the perp returned to the scene of the crime!

frame1 (18K)
frame2 (20K)
frame4 (18K)

fly-away (23K)

The camera also captured a nice shot of the perp fleeing the scene after another attack about an hour earlier.

Now what? Its obvious that if I don't protect the plant somehow it will be nothing but an empty shell in a matter of days.

Update

click picture to enlarge

Cactus dome. After a bit of shopping, I found a perfect shield to protect Split Rock from further attacks while it recovers.

Perp ID. Based on a search of various bird identification sites on the web, the avian attacker has been identified tentatively as a Northern Mockingbird, or Mimus polyglottos.

Northern Mockingbird, showing wing and tail markings

P.S. I'm still going to pin something on that cat somehow, someday.