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.
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?