Sunday, June 2, 2013

Two night visitors


Last night I had visitors.  I was up late and was just about to go upstairs but first I do the nightly rounds.  That is, I always check that the garage door is actually down, and that all the windows are closed and locked, that the doors are locked.  I also do a quick reconnoiter by looking out the front and back and yes, I am a bit COD on this but I daresay many do this if they are security minded.


When I looked onto the deck I saw a shape.  It was munching on the left-over peanuts I had put out earlier.  I had a good idea who was calling, and as I peaked around the curtain a little and thanks to the outside light, I could see that it was a raccoon.  I do what I always do, reached for my camera.  He is my first sighting this year.  The first thing I chided him about was that he was one messy critter, the squirrels are neater than he is and I never thought I would say that.  He had mushed, crunched and munched those peanuts into a thousand pieces.  I noticed that with many he took them over to the water dish where he delicately washed them.  Not sure why he did this to a few and not to all of them.  Maybe he was just washing his paws.  Who would think that an animal that clean could create such a mess?


Another thing I noticed was that he was a little more wary than usual.  Not of me, he knew I was there.  In fact he would stare at me every now and again and continue munching.   He was definitely on guard though. His ears perked up continuously, he would stop for a few seconds during his feast, and look towards the steps.  I enjoyed watching him for at least 15 minutes but then all of a sudden he scurried away to the other side of the deck, away from the steps.  I felt lucky I had decided to take a short video because that's when I saw my other night visitor, a fox.  Not a very good shot but at least it's something.  I did a screen capture of the video.


I realize that neither of these animals are popular with many.  I know they can be destructive of people's property and I've heard all about them going after chickens, but living in the suburbs we are not allowed to keep chickens.  We do, however, have a lot of cats and dogs in the area and I wonder about those.  Hopefully they are safely inside and tucked up in their beds like I should be.
   

I enjoyed my night visitors very much.  The fox was too scared to stay for long.  Even though I was behind the glass he stopped in his tracks once he saw me and disappeared quickly.  The raccoon on the other hand came back to finish off his meal, looked at me as if to say, "Thank goodness he has gone, thank you!" but eventually he too disappeared into the night just like the fox before him.  I waited a while longer to see if the fox would come back but no luck and it was time for me to call it a night.


It is now morning and after that late night I am walking around like I am half asleep, but pardon me while I get the broom.  It is time for me to sweep up that mess my messy raccoon made.  The squirrels are actually looking a bit disgusted.  


Yes, YOU!


Well, I don't feel like disagreeing with you this morning so we won't go down that road.  

In the meantime I have a question for you, my blogging friends.  If you keep bird feeders in your garden, do you stop feeding birds in the summer?  I think the raccoons will start going after the feeders next, as they have been apt to do in the past.  I have heard one train of thought, that there is plenty enough food for the animals and birds in the warmer months and we don't need to feed them until winter.  Though to still make sure that there is a dish of clean, clean water to be refilled daily to stop the mosquitoes from laying their eggs. What do you do?

16 comments:

  1. your raccoon is very cute but, yes, very messy! we have them here coming into the barn almost every night, lifting the lid to the garbage can, and eating one of the horse feeds. but if i don't let them access the cans, they'll get into the sacks of feed and make a mess!

    i feed all year, but i do cut back a lot (like right now i'm just feeding mixed seed and not sunflower or thistle and i throw scratch feed down near the pond for the ducks). the squirrels get almost all of it so i don't put a lot out each day.

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  2. I've seen those rascally raccoons out my back patio door recently. The momma doesn't get frightened, but last year's youngster didn't like me tapping on the window, so it left. No signs yet of the fox that also comes to the back door. I try to put out just enough cat food for MY kitties, but I never know how many will show up for a meal. I live in the country so sometimes have other cats eating, too. I don't feed the birds as they seem to have plenty to eat at the neighbor's dairy just across the big ditch (irrigation canal, to some). Have a great week.♥♫

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  3. it's good you got to see them in action. Best guesses come 2nd

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  4. So glad you were not already tucked up in bed when your visitors came to the party.
    Here we are discouraged from feeding wild birds altogether as then the population increases and what happens when we no longer can or care to feed them. Personally I think that it disturbs the balance of birds if they are fed when there is a plentiful food supply. Most who do it, do it for their own pleasure and convenience for photography. I'm all for helping them through your long cold winters.
    Having said all that, I've just put out another cut orange to supplement the honeyeater diet. The Grevilleas they rely on are not flowering yet.

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  5. How lucky you are to see these animals. And, at the end of the day, we have invaded their territory so I don't think we can complain when they visit us.

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  6. It obviously pays not to go to bed early! How wonderful to see these creatures. I get to see a fox quite often and still delight in the sighting, but a raccoon .... wow! After reading this post perhaps I should view the squirrels in new light.... smiles.

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  7. Ugh. Mosquitos. I hate them. There were 2 feral cats that we befriended. We would feed them cat food and give them a bowl of water, but as soon as they finished, we would remove the water bowl so as not to breed mosquitos. Cute photos, Denise!

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  8. I thoroughly enjoyed your night visitors (but of course I don't have to clean up the mess). We used to feed raccoons when we went camping (in Oregon and years ago -- before we knew better) and it was always so fun to watch them wash their food before they ate it.

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  9. What a thrill having those night visitors Denise! Mm, curious about the washing too....
    Loved this clever post!

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  10. Cute! What a messy raccoon and squirrel!

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  11. Denise, the biggestbproblem I have with keeping our bird feeders full,now is that starlings, grackles and blackbirds invade the feeders and within a day or so can empty them. Supposedly, these unwelcome visitors will soon be looking in the field, once they are turned over. There are at least 1 or 2 squirrels that come around the yard, but never seem to bother with the feeders.

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  12. I'm so jealous! Thought bubbles too!?!

    You have foxes! Oh my goodness! That's a whole lot of wildlife in your area.

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  13. Oh wow, a fox! How cool is that!

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  14. He needs a dunce hat to wear while he writes "I am Messy Raccoon" 500 times! :-) So cute, though...both of them! :-)

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