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Racoon visit
July 14th, 2008

We were visited by a family of racoons last night about 4 AM. As usual, the cats gave the “intruder alert” by scratching at the window panes and huffing loudly. There were 2 adults and 3 young racoons. I don’t know if they were just shopping or if they had come to clean up the remnants of cracked corn I had put out for the white-winged doves.

(We have a squirrel- and heavy-bird-proof feeder — there is a counter-weighted perch which closes the metal feeder when anything heavier than your specified weight lands. I love to watch the birds but feeding the doves gets to be a bit much. There are a lot of them (sometimes we’ve had 40 at once on our deck) and they are big and they eat a lot. So I’ve excluded them from the feeder, but sometimes I feel sorry for them — they see the other birds getting food from the feeder and they just can’t figure out why they can’t get anything. So sometimes I give in and give them a little food on the deck.)

The adult coons moved on pretty quickly, but the youngsters stayed to wash their hands in a shallow pan of water I keep on the deck for the birds. Then they began trying to duck each other in it. Very cute. But you should have seen the sludge in the previously clean water — how do they get so dirty?

Anyway it was fun to see — like being at a Davy Crockett convention!

2 Responses to “Racoon visit”
  1. From mss @ Zanthan Gardens
    12 years, 2 months ago

    And what magic did you use to keep them out of your pond? I want some.

    We have raccoons every night but the last two nights I actually saw one…and chased it with the broom. The first night I had to almost smack it before it deigned to twaddle away from the pond. Last night it took off for the shadows as soon as I opened the door.

    I don’t know – the racoons have never bothered our pond, plants or fish. I think it’s too deep for them to go in — 18″ — although I don’t know how the racoons can tell how deep it is, and if they wanted to bother the fish or plants they could certainly do it without going in. The fish are extremely tame and come swarming to the edge of the pond every time anyone goes near it, so I assume they can’t see the racoons in the dark, or they’re asleep, or something. As far as plants go, we have one yellow iris (Iris pseudacorus) and a couple of very small night-blooming water lilies, and the racoons don’t seem interested in them. They haven’t bloomed lately (as in this year) so maybe the racoons are waiting for a flower before they attack.

  2. From Alanna
    12 years, 2 months ago

    Wow, that sounds like a really amazing birdfeeder! I had a shot at attracting the native birds to our trees, but just ended up feeding the rats and gave up!

    It sounds like you live in some kind of amazing oasis surrounded by birds and plants and tame animals, Meredith, very idyllic! How long have you been in that little piece of heaven?

    We’ve been here 14 years! It’s not so much an oasis as a jungle (for example I planted a ligustrum hedge along the back fence to hide it, it got away from me, and now it also hides the house behind us. Which is fine actually.) I do enjoy the critters (mostly — not so much the deer and skunks).

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