Saturday, July 31, 2010

Raccoons? NIMBY!

At 10:30 tonight there was a "clunk" outside. I had the camera on (I was taking macros of worms), so I had it in my hand when I went to the back door to see what was out there.

It was a raccoon. He had turned over my bird bath, an arrangement of two large clay pots with the tray on top. Clunk!

I love these fiery eyes!

While I took photo after photo, aiming blind at the shadows, another raccoon arrived. And then another, a larger one; the mother. She stayed back, almost out of sight, while her pups checked out the water they'd spilled.

Still thirsty.

Then another, and another, and a fifth youngster.

Five masked bandits.

I had opened the door by now, for clearer photos. I thought this would scare them away. No. They stopped and looked at me, and went back to their nosing around.

I didn't dare step outside; mother raccoons can be agressive. But I shouted at them. They're terribly cute, but I don't want them here every night, thirsty or not. The birds need that bath!

They ignored me. Even the mother did.

My gardening shoes were beside the door; they're soft. I threw them at the nearest cubs. My aim is lousy, and the shoes are now in the hedge. But the raccoon family took the hint. They ambled off into the night, not in a hurry.

I hope they found water eventually (somewhere else); it's been a hot day.


  1. Ah, the adventures of the backyard! WOnderful series. But you are so right, you do not want the raccoon family moving in. Years ago in Dallas, a raccoon had her babies in the crawl space under out pier & beam house. That was ok until the babies made their way up into the air ducts and ran nightly through the walls of the entire house. They'd party in the attic and run wild through the pipes. We looked up at an air vent one evening and saw feet. Eeek! After many sleepless night, we finally had them trapped in hav-a-hearts, and hauled away, supposedly to a preserve near the Oklahoma border. Whew. I still love raccoons, but from a distance.

  2. I find the top of our plastic birdbath knocked askew almost every morning. I've not seen the perp(s), but I suspect raccoon. I'd rather they tip the birdbath than chew on the garden hose for water (as they did previously).

  3. Cute as can be and far more trouble than they are worth to have around. I've had them take up residence in a chimney and infest the house with fleas as well as pry their way into the soffits and require us to make major repairs to the house as well as disinfect the attic.

    And despite all that, those bright eyes and cute faces melt my heart, every time.

  4. We get nothing like that in the UK; foxes are the closest equivalent I suppose

  5. Hugh, I hadn't thought of the hose! I wonder if I can hang ours out of reach.

    Wren, thanks for the Tweet!

  6. They really are such cute little rascals! We have one that tries to steal the dog food out of the plastic bin in front of the house. We finally had to put a boulder on the lid. Now it's a real chore to get to the dog food, but at least the coon keeps out!


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