We’ve got raccoons!
Last night, I was about to sit down for a light, post gym meal while watching game five of the Stanley Cup Finals and thinking of 1500 words I could write on the brilliance of the NHL playoffs when I detected movement on our deck. Three, count ’em, three raccoons! A mother and two babies (What are they, kittens? Kits?) were wedged into the corner. The young ones were exploring, sniffing the barbecue, smelling the chair that was still pulled out from when I sat outside Wednesday afternoon, and trying to figure out what was going on with our stone Jayhawk (the same Jayhawk, mind you, that our friend the cardinal was seen eyeing suspiciously earlier in the day). I ran out to my office to grab my camera then snuck back in time to catch one of the juveniles next to the Jayhawk. As I was playing with camera settings, all three disappeared over the edge and started exploring the dug out spot our old friend Mr. Opossum has been using for the past five months. I stepped out into the sun room and tried to get a good angle for some photos, but that didn’t work.
I called S. at work and told her about the latest addition to our menagerie. “Well, you wanted wild life!” was her response. Made me think of the line in Vacation where Brian Doyle Murray tells Chevy Chase that wildlife fun is included in the price of their tents. “And as a bonus to you, Bank One has decided to include free wildlife fun with your mortgage! Congratulations!”
I sat anxiously on the back of the couch waiting for the varmints to reappear. Finally, momma stuck her head out. At first, she didn’t see me standing straight ahead of her behind the window. Eventually, my movements caught her eye. It’s crazy how feline their actions are. She dipped and raised her head, much like a cat does when trying to act tough. As the picture I’ll post shows, she sat in between two banisters with her front paws on the deck for at least five minutes. I walked back out to the sun room and tried to sneak the camera out the door, but she slipped back under the deck as soon as the door cracked. I went back into the living room and she popped out again. She soon grew bored with me and disappeared under the deck for good. A couple times one of the young ones came out and sniffed around the edge, but it seems as though they found themselves a nice place to hole up for awhile. I have no idea if the opossum is still under there. It’s been obvious since we mulched that something is digging in and out, so the raccoons very well could have been residing there for a month or more.
I did walk out onto the deck later to put cayenne pepper at the entrance of the hole (The genius of Google tells me that spreading spicy peppers may drive the critters away) and as soon as I hit the deck, I heard scurrying underneath the boards.
So let’s reset. We’ve got the biggest squirrels in the world that sound like mountain lions when the run across the roof in the morning. We’ve got a nasty old opossum. We’ve got a family of raccoons. Cardinals. Grackles. The occasional Blue Jay. Sparrows. And Robins out the ass. Life is indeed good down on the farm in Indiana.
(Note: this sweet little application Blogger has provided us to post pictures doesn’t seem to be working this morning. I’ll add pics of our furry little friends as soon as I can.)