Sunday, July 1, 2012

Rocky Raccoon Comes A' Callin'

Wilting from the heat, but doing OK

Raccoon picture
I am very fortunate that my back yard borders a very nice woodland area.  It is lush with trees and flowering plants and because of the creek that flows through it, the zone is protected.  It was one of the reasons why we chose to buy this house.  I love all the wildlife that we get to see here and and always have our camera ready to catch any animal that happens to pop out into the open space.  I have to admit that I do feed them and often leave leftover vegetables and greens deep in the woods for them all.  Every winter, as the dusk of day descends, we encounter some large majestic buck.  However, by the time we get over our oohs and aahs, and get our camera focused, he is gone.  Mostly though, we have small creatures and as I have mentioned before, our neighbor farmer's cats who have come to know my yard as their second home.  Sharing my life with all these animals is a great joy for me.



Having said all that, I do believe that the animals and I should each have our own territory.  The woods are available to them, and they are welcome to the use of  my yard, if they do not eat my flowers and chew on my bushes.  So far, everything has been sypatico between us except for that rogue woodchuck who sometimes eats all my cabbages and some pesky bunnies who just love to chew my tulips down to the core. We also have the cows from across the road that visit us a few times a year right after a torrential rain storm and ruin hubby's perfect (no weeds allowed) lawn.  This does give us cause for concern, but I have to admit that we always get a good story or laugh out of those incidents. 


Now though, we have an issue.  Although hubby has a problem with birds eating out of the wrong feeders because he thinks they should know better, he gets very annoyed when the squirrels climb the poles and feast on his specialty seeds.  As mad as he gets at the squirrels, it is nothing compared to how ballistic he becomes when he sees a large raccoon swinging away on one of his feeders.  They not only drain all the food out of them but very often pull them apart.  We have many feeders and the brids of the East Coast will not suffer from the loss of one, but you would think it was a tragedy the way the man carries on.   It doesn't bother me as I think the raccoons and squirrels need to eat also and what difference does it make what creature partakes of the food that we leave out.  This is an argument that I never winHowever, I have been given a reason to rethink this all and as hard as it is to say this, maybe, just maybe, hubby is right this time (now that was hard to say and my fingers hurt typing that in).


We have lived here for 10 years and use our deck and patio five months a year.  They are our favorite rooms.  We often dine outside but are always very careful to clean up everything so as not to attract any unwanted company.  As I said before, the farmer's cats visit us daily and two of them often stay the night sleeping on one of the garden chairs.  Last week, as I laid on my couch in the family room, I saw through the window that the deck light went on.  This is a sensitivity light and will turn on when someone/something steps onto the outside area.  I was sure it was a cat and watched a tail go behind the patio dining table.  As it turned around and came ever closer to the French doors and brazingly stared in at me with his peering eyes, I knew it was not a cat, but it was Rocky Raccoon and he was hungry.  I am very grateful that I had my eye sight fixed a few months ago, and did not open the door to invite him in.



We checked with the farmer across the road and she has had a problem with a family of  raccoons.  They have eaten three of her chickens.  I am counting on her to solve the problem, however, I do not want to know how.

Maybe though, Rocky  remembers my high-pitched, blood curdling screams and is still running, preferably out of town.


 

28 comments:

  1. Arleen, Squirrels and bird feeders just go together. We actually are entertained watching their antics. I buy a hot sauce made to add to bird seed to keep the squirrels away. Now I feel so bad we are putting out peanuts for them. Go figure! Bonnie

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    1. Yes, I have given them peanuts also and they bury them in my planters.

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  2. I totally agree with you - I love animals - but stay out of the inside of the house. Use my yard - whatever - but no inside of my house. sandie

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  3. I nearly fell over when your new header photo came up! Beautiful.

    Racoons look like such quiet domesticated creatures; hard to believe they eat chickens. We feed the birds in Winter, otherwise the wildlife gets nothing. There's plenty for them elsewhere.

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    1. Thanks Cro, it is a picture of one of my begonias. They are all so different and colorful. I love growing them and they winter wonderfully.

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  4. We had to lock the cat door when racoons discovered it and came in to clean us out of cat food and dog food. Not a great sound to wake to in the middle of the night.

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    1. Oh my! That is not an experience that I would want to have.

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  5. I'll never forget catching a racoon eating a large bag of Dorito's in the middle of the night when I poked my head out of a tent to see what the noise was on a camping trip. Yes, I have learned to put food away since then, LOL (lucky it wasn't a bear)... but it looked so funny.

    You are very lucky to live where you do! And love the new header pic, too. Toodelpip!

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  6. You ALWAYS have the most beautiful pictures on your header. Each time, I'll think THIS one is the best, and then you go and put up one that's even BETTER. Wow, you put the rest of us to shame. (especially me!) As to the feeder, try smearing the pole with lard, and then sit back and enjoy the comedy as the squirrels try to climb up it. Love that video. Perfect go-together with your post, too.

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    1. Thanks Susan. I tend to take a lot of pictures of my gardens so there is an unending supply of header pictures. This one I thought was especially beautiful and I did not have to use any Picassa enhancements. Nature paints such a pretty picture.

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  7. I have never seen a raccoon. They are absent from the UK sadly.
    Tell hubby that I put Vaseline on the posts supporting all the bird feeders and the squirrels can't climb them now!
    Click here for Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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    1. Maybe we can export a few to the UK. We have plenty and I think they are the #1 road kill in this area.

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  8. I am an animal lover. I have been a vegetarian for over 20 years and despise guns but..........I can tell you that I have laid awake at 2 AM and have had evil thoughts of shooting the damn racoons that were going through my garbage (which was secured with bungy cords)for the 5th night in a row. Luckily, I didn't give in to these dreadful thoughts - I did my research and learned that cayenne pepper sprinkled liberally will do the trick. I haven't seen or heard them in a while and am assuming that they have moved onto the neighbor's yard which works well because they deserve to be kept up late at night - gotta love karma!

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  9. Arleen--- raccoons never miss a chance for a late night snack!! I do hope that your neighbor takes care of this for you-- raccoons can be mean sometimes!

    Your blog header is fabulous-- are those your flowers? The color is just gorgeous!!

    Still laughing over the comment you left on my post---- oh no- I'm not rushing fall. I love summer too-- it's only autumn right now in my craft room!!!

    Xo
    Vicki

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  10. This reminds me of when a racoon came down my mom-in-law's chimney and the house woke up to yelling and hissing. It was sitting on the mantel, she was yelling at it and it was seemingly yelling right back at her. Animal control came and caged it. They're brazen little buggers.

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  11. Dear Arleen, I've always considered myself an animal lover--even done some marching for animals rights and went to a big gathering in Washington, D. C., back in 1990 or 1991--not sure which.

    But once, long years ago, when Ishmael--a small kitten with whom I lived--climbed up to the top of a locust tree, followed by a raccoon hungry for a meal, I went ballistic! I even called and asked my brother to come down and get rid of the raccoon.

    He took me at my word and brought a shotgun. I kept calling, "Ish. Ish. Go higher!" (The raccoon was heavy and I thought the top branches wouldn't hold his weight.)

    Things were getting desperate in my mind, so I ordered my brother to shot the raccoon. I'd really lose my common sense--and my beliefs! Fortunately, my brother didn't shot the raccoon, he just fired the gun and the raccoon leaped to the ground and took off running!

    So I learned that for all my so-called animal rights' beliefs I lost commitment when one of the cats was threatened.

    Peace.

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  12. Your begonias must be amazing, as is your photography skills!

    Coming from the country, raccoons were way down in the pest level. Forget their cuteness. I love the photo at the top. I think I will use that for a quick bit of fiction!

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  13. I just chased one away from one of the bird feeders. He/she came early today.

    Be my guest, you are welcome to any pictures I have. One of my gardens is mostly just different varieties of begonias and I think they are spectacular. Some though have not bloomed yet so I have something to which to look forward.

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  14. Our back yard borders a farm with a cow, goats, pigs and chickens. I love to look out and see them all but I am also thankful for the fence.
    Other than some bunnies and lots of squirrels, our plants are pretty safe.

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  15. I've been having fun watching a humming bird. With our fence, birds and lizards are about the only wildlife that get in our yard :-)

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  16. Holy heck! I had no idea raccoons could eat something as big as a chicken. Those must be some healthy-sized raccoons you have there. Despite the scary wildlife, your post really got me chuckling. You're going on my blogroll -- thanks!

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  17. oh my gosh...raccoons eat chickens! i had no idea! the bunnies eat most of my flowers, the deer eat the rest of the flowers, the ground hogs and weasels eat anything that grows in my vegetable garden and the squirrels finally won and ate all the bird food. we don't have live chicks so I guess that is he only reason we don't have raccoons! we have fun watching the animals too...
    happy 4th!!

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  18. Oh boy! I thought the photo was kind of cute at the beginning of this post, but as I read on, I realized that Rocky isn't welcome!

    I had to laugh about your screams scaring him off! If one came up to our slider, I'd likely scream too!

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  19. Hi there. I came over from Empty Nest Insider. You have a lovely blog with lovely stories. We don't have raccoons in Australia, but have plenty of other critters to disturb the peace, lol!

    I have followed you while I'm here! You're welcome to pop over for a visit.

    Denise

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  20. I hope the raccoons don't continue to bother you. You are so nice about feeding the animals in your lovely garden! I might also have to include a raccoon story using your PhotoPrompt later this week if that's okay. Happy 4th of July! Julie

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