Thursday, July 23, 2009

raccoon watch day three: the drama continues

it's day three, and our little buddy is still around. yesterday we found him in the same tree as the day before. we consulted a raccoon rescue organization, and they gave us tons of helpful information about him.

he's about three months old and apparently has been separated from his mother. most likely she was trapped or run over, leaving this little guy an orphan. he's been out in the day because he's too young to effectively catch little mice, so he's hungry and foraging for anything he can find. it's like a freaking disney movie really. and my dad's cruella deville.

we decided to go ahead and purchase a humane trap (since it seems that we have a lot of woodland critters in our neighborhood) to try to catch him and release him to a better, more raccoon-friendly area.

we didn't catch him last night. this morning, he was nowhere to be found, so we assumed he'd be back today. sure enough, we were right.

about 3pm we looked out the window and saw this:

a little raccoon head peeping out of the empty squirrel feeder. we moved the trap and loaded it with raccoon-pleasing food items: apples, corn, tuna, peanuts. he took an immediate interest, but made no show to move:

finally, as i was composing an earlier draft of this post, he began to make a run for it. i can only assume that his empty belly eventually led him to get past his fear of my dogs and cruella.

the cage worked appropriately and trapped him very quietly and safely. he proceeded to chow down on all the goodies.

my parents loaded him in the car and took him a little ways down the road to live in a forested area near a brook. just to make sure he had plenty to eat, i made them take some of the squirrel food he was so found of and spread it around where they released him.

i hope he'll be happy and healthy there for the rest of his little raccoon life.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

there's a what?! where?!

setting: yesterday afternoon, around 4PM

happenings: the dogs see a squirrel (or three) outside, so we let them out. thirty seconds later they are raising hell at the tree in the corner of our yard. this is not beyond their usual "SQUIRREL!-SQUIRREL!-let-me-out-let-me-out-oh-my-god-there's-a-squirrel-i-must-eat-him-or-see-him-destroyed" behavior, but something was a little off.

we looked outside. this is what we saw:

there was a dark spot that's not usually there. we got a little closer:
wait a second, that's not a squirrel. it looks couldn't be. closer still:
it is. a freaking raccoon in my tree. he was in the yard and the dogs must have scared him, so he ran up a tree. having never actually seen a raccoon in person before, i was curious. i walked up to the tree and snapped a couple of pictures. he was little, obviously a young raccoon, and he looked terrified.
after consulting with each other and the local animal control office, we decided to remove the squirrel and bird feeders from the back yard, keep the dogs in the house, and let the little guy go about his business. in the hopes of enticing him down, i smeared some peanut butter on some bread and gingerly placed it on the fence. he took a definite interest, but did not come down.

a few hours later, we watched as he crawled down.
UPDATE: as i was typing this, the dogs started screeching at the back door. our little buddy is back again. and in the same tree.

anyone know how to raccoon proof your yard?

Monday, July 6, 2009

only in texas.

i just got off the phone with one of my best buds. our convo went a little something like this:

him: it's really nice out tonight.
me: i know. i haven't been outside, but i'm actually a little cold inside the house, so it must be kind of cool outside.
him: my air conditioner hasn't run much at all this evening.

i thought nothing of this little exchange until i hung up the phone and glanced at the tv screen. there, in the bottom right of the screen, was the temperature: 82.

82 degrees apparently now qualifies as "cool".

wow. go texas.