Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Scenes From Last Week

It was a dark and misty night -- raining, in fact, one of those Winter evenings when it seems dark even under streetlights. The rain was slanting down, silver lines tangling in the wake of cross traffic. It was at the corner of 30th and College, under a red light; I was in the left lane headed North. Across from me, in the Southbound left-turn lane, squatted a massive pickup truck.

The light went green and I started forward -- and hit the brake immediately! The truck was turning left. Pity there's no turn arrow. He stopped too, just shy of mashing me to a pulp, and I skedaddled.

What is it about rain that addles some drivers?


When I arrived home, I parked in the (detached) garage. It's rigged for Winter, which means the internal shutters (heavy plywood with slide bolts) are in place on the windows and you cannot see into the back yard. As I approached the door, I could hear something talking outside. Funny, high voices. Or was it talking? It wasn't a cat sound, but it sure wasn't English. Children? No.... I wasn't going to stand there wondering forever.

I yanked open the door...and startled a pair of raccoons, swaying 'way out in the branches of a tree in my side yard and holding a noisy discussion. They looked at me, I looked back, and without even thinking, I spoke to them in the same way I talk to Tam's cat and mine, "What're you two up to? You get down from there!"

They goggled at me, glanced at one another, and scurried down from the tree just as quick as a wink. That tree's on the far side of the fence and they must have lit out for far places when they hit the ground; I haven't seen them since.

House-hunting? Possibly. Just as well they moved on; a pair of pro-level dumpster-divers living in the tree that overlooks our trash cans wouldn't be a good idea.


Stranger said...

Never underestimate the common 'coon. Procyon lotor is far more than a mere dumpster diver. I have known an old sow 'coon to figure out a combination lock to get into a root cellar. And do it again the next night.

If you do not have anything at all you don't mind getting torn up, they make amusing adult pets.


BobG said...

Obnoxious vermin. My dad had to shoot them sometimes when they kept trying to set up housekeeping in his garage. They also have no problems with killing and eating cats if they can get the drop on them.

Drang said...

I have nothing particularly against raccoons, as wild critters go, but i don't want them living in my back yard, or even visiting, any more than I want coyotes or bears.

One of the reasons I keep hoping that Washington AC will enact saner laws re: suppressors is for non-neighbor-panicking (four-legged) vermin control. (If you can get your CLEO to sign off on it, you can buy one, but you can't use it.)

Turk Turon said...

I had a couple of raccoons that would let themselves in the cat door and stroll over to his food dish for a snack. I caught them at it one night. They looked up at me as if to say, "So?" They would grab a piece of kibble and dip it in the water bowl before eating it. Apparently they gave the cat a wide berth, having figured that killing the cat would end their free food supply.

Anonymous said...

Of all the garbage cans in the world, surely not yours.

As for rain, whatever is in it, is in fog also.


Hat Trick said...

Yes, they're way more than dumpster divers. Farmer Frank will agree that they can be hell on sweetcorn. We had a neighbor make the mistake of locating a 10 acre patch of sweetcorn adjacent to his hay shed one year, essentially setting up a "bed and breakfast" for the raccoons. They left him about a dozen good ears out of that whole patch.

Justthisguy said...

Yup, they'll terrorize your kitty and eat up his food.

Your food, too, if they can get away with it. I mind a story on another blog in which the 'coons came in through the cat door, and opened all drawers and all cabinets in the kitchen and ate their fill. Apparently they did'nt have muscle enough to open the refrigerator.