Glenn did it again. Another raccoon and this one did not come quietly; it woke up the neighbours with its howling at 4 a.m. It was quite a tiny thing for the amount of noise it emitted. By sun up, it was sitting upright, catatonically peering out of the bars, exhausted. I had to harden my heart when I looked at it.
One glance at the tumbled down fountain was enough to do that. In fact, they have broken it for good. We really liked that fountain. The bill for these guys is getting close to a thousand dollars if we count the damage they did last year to our birdbath.
Glenn said it is not over. When he looked out the window during the night, he saw a very large fellow. “I think he might even be too big for the cage,” he said. It was probably this fellow who broke the fountain.
I look at the suggested deterrents for raccoons. One is to light up the area they frequent. Instead of acting as a deterrent, our lights seem to attract them. Another suggestion is to loudly play a radio tuned to an all-talk show: Huh! I’ll bet the neighbours would love that. I am beginning to suspect that the only way to keep then out of our yard is to electrify our fence. They come in through the park in the back yard where out pie-shaped lot is only 17 feet wide, so this could be an easy solution.
Not that any solution promises to be easy. These guys are very smart and cagey. To find out just how smart, check out this week’s Ten Neat Things at www.localgardener.net (you can sign up for this e-newsletter and receive it automatically every Friday).
We go to Fort Whyte
This afternoon in the blazing heat, Claire, Julia and I went on a photo shoot to Fort Whyte Centre, a nature preserve reclaimed from an old cement works. Don’t bother looking it up – the history of its development has been replaced by a lot of public relations bumph and the neat story behind the development of the site has been discarded.
Still, it’s a cool place to visit. I remember planting a tree there years ago with one of the princes: Edward, I think. It was a blazing hot day then, too, and there were far more mosquitoes to contend with. After the tree planting, HRH and I and his entourage and the rest of the dignitaries went for a walk along the boardwalk through the swamp. Oh my, how the mosquitoes loved that fresh English blood.
I was walking directly behind HRH. Ahead and to the side were his guards, mosquito spray in hand. But they were totally flummoxed by the fact that the tastiest morsel on the Royal Body was the loonie-sized bald spot on the top of his head. There the mosquitoes clustered hungrily, while the staff clearly felt uncomfortable about spraying his head (are people allowed to spray a Royal head? Are they allowed to show that they know he has a bald spot?)
There was no royalty today, just my two beautiful granddaughters and me, cameras in hand, shooting ducks swooning in the swamp. Julia got a great picture of one of them taking flight.