When you live in the country, you have to deal with wildlife in many forms. The transition from City Girl to Country Girl has not been an easy one for me, but I've slowly adapted. Mice, snakes, moles, moose, rabbits, woodchucks, fishercats, flying squirrels, regular squirrels, flocks of wild turkeys, birds of prey. Oh, it's a regular Wild Kingdom out here in the sticks.
Every summer I go to battle stations / red alert / crazy-mom-mode, because we have night creatures. Creatures that poke around on our deck, nosing around for midnight snacks. God help us if Darling Daughter puts the trash bag out on the deck without putting it away in a can. That's a veritable smorgasbord with a neon sign.
One summer it was possum. One summer it was skunk. Most summers, it's raccoons. This is a war that only I fight, because when they knock over the garbage can and pry it open with those cute little hands, then dump all our trash out on the deck...I am the one who ends up sweeping it up the next morning. And I get TIRED of it, believe me.
So it's WAR. I know when they show up - it's always between 11pm and 11:30pm. I swear I'm so in tune to their arrival I can be three rooms away from the deck and still hear the miniscule CLICK when they pop the top off the trash can.
After five consecutive summers of the racoon and I constantly trying to outsmart each other, things finally came to a head one night. As usual, The Hubs and Darling Daughter were sound asleep, but not I. I was on full alert. Lying in bed, waiting, listening, anticipating. Sure enough - I could hear him on the deck. Time to make my move. I grabbed my broom, made my kamikaze cry, and jumped out the back door (because they're smart buggers, after the 2nd or 3rd time of just banging on the window, they KNOW you aren't a threat).
Imagine my surprise to find not one racoon but six! A Mama and five babies. The babies were all lined up on the deck rail like birds on a wire, and Mama was prying the lid off my garbage can. We were both so startled neither of us moved for a moment. Then she turned tail and ran, leaving her babies still lined up on the deck rail!
After the kids realized mom had skedaddled, they started mewing and tried to scatter. They all went different directions; one went the wrong way and ended up on the roof of our mudroom. Oh, what a wail HE put up.
I ran inside and grabbed my camera, but it was so dark, mostly all I could pick up was red glowing eyes in on a black screen.
About twenty minutes later I heard yelling and banging from a neighbor's house, so they must have made their way over to HIS garbage can.
Oddly enough, that was about four years ago, and we haven't had raccoons since.
I'm sitting here at the kitchen table, plugging away on my laptop, and I kept hearing little noises on the deck. It's lightly raining so at first I thought that was it...but it just didn't sound right. SOMEONE was definitely on the deck! So I grasped the mini blind cord in one hand and the light switch in the other, and went for it. And there on the deck was the garbage bag that Darling Daughter once again did NOT put in a trashcan but merely plopped on the deck, and a masked face with red eyes glaring up at me.
It's our first encounter of the season, so I was able to scare him off by banging on the window this time. I brought the trash bag in until we can stick it in the can tomorrow.
It's gonna be one of those summers.