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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Raccoon War I (and an announcement at the end)

It all started about 10 PM last night when Scrappy and I chased Mr. Raccoon off the porch.  Of course, Scrappy gets lauded as a hero and receives a bone shaped biscuit as a reward.  Then about 2:30 AM, he woke us up again, but we chased him off with a few barks/words from the bedroom window.

However, it all broke loose about 5 AM.

We spotted him from the bedroom window again, and this time, shouts didn't faze him.   He climbed up the side fence, over to the shed, up the shed and across its roof to the side with the feeders.  After puzzling how to get at them for a moment, he slid down to the gate and reached out for the feeder.

Yeah, pictures didn't work out so well.

Thus, I threw on some pants and we went downstairs, and Scrappy promptly ran him off again.  But not for long.  As soon as we went to bed again, I could see the little bugger walking the outside of the fence, which is a concrete ledge about 2 feet high.  So I said, "Okay, let's go settle this.

Scrappy and I went out the front door and looped around in hopes of catching him unawares.  He was gone, but not far.  Scrappy tracked him down to the 10-inch space between our outer wall and the neighbor's shed.  And that's when we discovered where he got his sudden bravery.

There were two of them!  One was wedged in high up towards the shed roof, the other sitting on the ledge against which the shed sat.  Scrappy pondered how to get at them, and I solved that problem- I found a large stick in the yard.  The lower one quickly moved onto the neighbors porch; the other one wasn't quite sure what to do, but a couple of whacks and a sore butt later, he joined his comrade in mischief on the neighbor's porch.

Of course, it isn't cool to enter a neighbor's porch uninvited, especially at 5:15 AM.  So we backed up for a while to see what they would do, and they decided to just chill.  All I saw of them was one of them jumping the fence onto the next neighbor's porch.  So we went in.

But not to be fooled again, we opened the kitchen blinds, cracked the door enough for Scrappy to smell any incursions, and we waited.  By a little after five-thirty, Scrappy declared the scene cleared and we called a cease fire.

Which brings us to the announcement.  If you remember a little while back, I gave you a link to Mynx's blog to see the drawings I submitted to her art contest.  If you were too lazy to hit the link and check them out, I think I have them here somewhere...


The top one is based on ancient Chines writer Wang Wei's poem.  It goes like this:

Dismounting, I offer my friend a cup of wine.

I ask what place he is heading to

He says he has not achieved his aims,

is retiring to the southern hills

“Now go, and ask nothing more;”

White clouds will drift on for all time.

A morning shower in Weicheng has settled the light dust;

The willows of the hostel are fresh and green.

Come, drink one more cup of wine;

West of Yang Pass, you will meet no more old friends.

The other is Attila the Hun's unhappy honeymoon.  Mynx intended to draw one or so from the entries (without judging, because they were all good), and the winner got a piece of her artwork.  Well, I found this e-mail after the battle:
You are a winner and an awesome artist

Thank you so much for taking part in my giveaway

Can you please send me your address again so I can send you your art?

Big hugs

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!??!! was my response (with my address, of course).  And just so you know how good an artist she is, take a look at the prizes here, and you can even vote for your favorites!

Returning to the war-at-hand, this afternoon, we took prisoners, as Scrappy discovered this on the greenway road:

He likely climbed up the nearby marker smelling "food", and couldn't give out.  In the interests of peace between our nations, we tipped the can to set him free...

...but he decided to wait until after we left, choosing to hide in the trash until after we took off.

We did a preliminary perimeter scout about 10:30 tonight, and saw no evidence of further infiltration, but I may well look again later.

In the meantime, here are some other pic to amaze yourself with.

Just another day at the water cooler feeder.

Ran up inside one of the fallen trees and came out here.

A golden-crowned kinglet- not supposed to be common around here, teeny-tiny, and cute as a button!

Tearing down the old sewage station on California Road.

Stony Run close to its entrance into the river.


  1. I love the pics. I esp. love that you set the raccoon free. They are so frigging cute but they cause so much damage, so many people just have them killed.

    I saw your pics over at mynx's. Loved them then, love them now. :)

    1. Thank you, ma'am. Unfortunately, my kindness didn't prevent another skirmish at about 2:30 this morning.

  2. Great drawings and a much deserved win. As for raccoons, I pride myself on being a country girl, but I still wouldn't get that close to one of those. Brave man and braver Scrappy. Love the picture of the golden crowned kinglet! Adorable.

    1. In all honesty, I jumped back at first, out of surprise. He was definitely more scared than I was.

  3. Congrats on the win!!!

    We resolved our coon issue by putting the birdfeeders inside the garden pen, in the middle. They were close to the side but coons paws could still reach them. Haven't had any coons since.

    I once rescused a baby coon that got stuck in the dumpster where I work. I had to get a long board down in it for him to walk on to get out. I used a second board to give him a dose of encouragement to go up the board. Poor thing was scared to death. Grateful I heard him in there or he would have been a smashed coon in a few days.

    Love the pic "Just another day at the feeder"

    1. I know, right? I forgot to put that in the previous post.

  4. Congratulations! And I loved your artwork, btw :-)

    Ugh, racoons. My least favorite wildlife. Humane trapping and relocating comes in handy, if they become to problematic. Glad we don't have an issue with them at my house.

    Your bird photos remind me that I need to pick up some seed to fill my own feeders!

    Bazinga isn't ready to accept her new brother and sister just yet. :-( It's going to take some time...

    1. Thank you! I don't mind 'coons, their less desirable traits never really impinged on me until the whole bird feeding thing. I hope everything works out for Big B and her new family. I do seem to remember cats who had an artistic way with poop when they weren't happy...

  5. congrats on your art! you work is fabulous...good for you.
    you had more excitement than we did... tonight our dog tried to catch the stray cat and we watched the cat happily hunting around the others neighbors yard as the dog was looking for it in the other neighbors yard...

    1. Hah! Scrappy has been known to do that. Look on the story page and read "once Upon A Time In The Forest" for a taste of what he can come up with,

  6. Racoons can be vicious. I had a pair of the critters in my trash and I thought I'd go scare them off. I took a flashlight, shined it in their eyes and they came towards me. I screamed and ran in the house. They're scary buggers.

    Very nice artwork indeed

    1. Thank you, ma'am, and thanks for the follow. I just stopped over at yours and said, "Yeah, she's crazy enough to follow back!" And I have seen coons stand up on their hind legs at me before. These whimps, though, barely let out a growl, and that was when Scrappy found 'em.

  7. I know they can be a problem but those racoons are so darn cute. Of course I have never actually seen a real one, I may be relying on Disney for my education on the critters.

    You art is awsome and I might have a couple of bottle caps to send with your prize

  8. CWM:
    AH, boy-o, seems you might have a wee bit o' Saint Francis in ye, lad...with setting that raccoon free.
    Well done.

    The bird pictures are outstanding.

    (and I've met my share of artists over the years)

    Getting sleep...difficult, right?

    We've had our share of raccoon staring out the upstairs bathroom window at 3AM and find "someone" staring RIGHT BACK at you...LOL
    Or the mama and her four kids rushing down a tree only to disappear across the street.
    (they do make weird sounds, too)

    Then, there's the possums...
    (larger than most cats and always coming out of our culverts.)
    Sure keeps THIS city boy "busy".

    Great post.

    Stay safe (and raccoon-free) up there.

    1. St. Francis, eh? Story might have been different if it were a possum...