The Raccoon War Wages On

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 Don’t bother looking it up – the history of its development has been replaced by a lot of public relations bumph and the neat story behind the development of the site has been discarded.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.


It was a magical tour.

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One thought on “The Raccoon War Wages On

  1. Debbie says:

    Great Photos of the Racoons! I do some photography and my husband is the “Grizzly Adams” of our family. We heard something late one night int he middle of a thunder storm. My husband went outside and found a baby racoon that had fallen out of our attic. All those noises I had heard weren’t just my imagination. Interesting how when something invades the house it never makes noise when “Mr. Adams” is around. That is a whole other story.
    The baby racoon was the size of a mouse. “Mr. Adams” has rescued squirrels, skunks, rats, and the list does go on and on. Lots of stories to tell here. Anyway back to the racoon.
    Randy, was given a home in a small cage, fed with an eyedropper some watered down milk and treated like a king for 2 years. Yes 2 years! He became “Mr. Adams constant companion. Climbing his leg and sitting on his shoulder no matter what he was doing outside. If my husband was on the bobcat doing landscaping, Randy could be found curled up sleeping on his shoulder. If the roof needed to be checked out, Randy would scurry up the ladder, leg and body of “Mr. Adams”, looking for the comforting shoulder.
    Randy learned to play catch in the house. Yes he lived in the house, played with our dog and the neighbours dog.
    Randy and I never saw eye to eye, Litterally as well as figuratively. I am not partial to having a racoon try to climb my legs when I am in a skirt. Randy knew how to send me from the room so he could have more alone time with “Mr. Adams”.
    Raccons do have different sounds for happy and scared. We did spend many hours listening to Randy almost giggle when we played games with him.
    Racoons will find a way into your attic, even if it is a tiny knot in the wood. They will work away at it until it accomadates their bodies.
    How do I know this? Iamagine trying to sleep and hearing the rather loud pitter patter of a 25lb racoon playing in the attic above you. Thump, Thump. and again “Mr. Adams is a sleep and when you wake him, the noise stops. After about a week of this he finally hears his buddy at play.
    Time to get up in the attice and remove the unpaid tenant. That was an all summer job. When we sealed one area, Randy found another. Oh, he came to his name when we called him, but once he realized we were going to remove him from his new playground, he thought it was a game of hide and seek.
    There are soo many stores about Randy, and some pictures too. No one would believe some of the stories without the pictures. Great memories now that they are just that, memories.
    We went on holidays and when we returned home Randy had moved on. One night I heard noise on the back deck. After a week of describing the noise to “Mr. Adams” he finally heard it and grabbed his trusty heavy duty flashlight. When the light was shone on the back deck, there staring back at us in the dining room window, were 24 racoon eyes staring back at us. Randy and Mrs. Randy where introducing the family to “Mr. Adams” and his container for garden mulch.

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