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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Monday, May 11, 2015

An Early Morning Visitor: Who Was That Masked Man?


Just before dawn on Friday, I grabbed my morning cup of coffee to drink on the back porch, sat down and noticed that the leaves on part of an Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood'  were moving.  The morning was quite still and no other trees were showing signs of a breeze passing by.  I sat for a while watching and realized that there was something up there causing the movement.  Before I could make out what it was, I grabbed my camera.  When I came back out the door, this little guy had made his way further down the tree.  Had something scared him up the tree?  Was he looking for a bird's nest?


He seemed interested in the beam of light the camera sends out in the dark to auto focus and appeared to be fairly young.  Was this one of the little buggers who ate all my fish in November?  Camera or gun - always a difficult choice as to which to grab...

"I wonder If I can get down this way?"

Was this his first visit do you suppose?  They look so cute that it's hard to remember what vicious creatures they are.  You know, like politicians.

The top of the gate isn't quite wide enough.


Guess I'll just climb lower on the tree.

And lower until I can hit the ground and make a getaway.

We often see a few larger raccoons passing by the greenhouse.  They trigger the outside light which allows to watch them for several minutes. We've always seen raccoons in the garden and it's especially sweet when a mom and her kits hang out in the trees.  Better get that electric fence back up as we've just put fish in the pond again. 

23 comments:

  1. Oh dear. They are cute, and you got some good photos, but they are so destructive. I hope you got the electric fence back up to protect your new fish. Also...do you really own a gun?

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    1. Fence is back up but I need to repair the extension cord or get another as the fence guy cut it in half when digging post holes. Doesn't everyone?

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  2. They may look cute but bad news for the fish! Better get that electric fence back up again soon..

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    1. You are right. When I pulled everything out of the pond and vacuumed it out, I realized that the deepest part, where the fish can hide beneath a rock had, over the years, filled with rocks and other debris. I gained about six inches in depth by removing it all.

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  3. Is rabies a problem in your area? That's the first thing we think of when we see raccoons in daylight.

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    1. Rabies is very unusual in this area. Every great once in a great while there'll be a case, usually from a bat bite. It was pretty dark when I heard the leaves rustling. It took it quite a while to amble down as it kept trying to find a way to climb higher.

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  4. I heard raccoons smell through their feet; maybe that is why they look so creepy when they walk. They have the cutest faces though, so most will run to grab a camera, not a gun. Did you amend the pond in any way?

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    1. Because of their sensitive sense of smell, shaking spices like cayenne pepper or cinnamon around things will deter them until the rain washes them away. When I emptied the pond and vacuumed everything, I found that the deepest part of the pond had accumulated about six inches of rocks, gravel and debris. Removing this and placing a large flat rock over part of the deep area will give the fish a hiding place again.

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  5. "Camera or gun"...hehe, you had me laughing. Somehow I wouldn't be surprised to learn you had both within reach.

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  6. Cute but destructive. Time to get the fence going and save those fish.

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  7. Awww - such a shame about the cute face masking their destructive tendencies...!

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    1. They're very cute and curious but still wild animals and, like all creatures, they'll attack if they're cornered.

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  8. Such cute faces! I didn't even think about them eating fish out of ponds. We used to have some but they just ate the cat food. Glad he made his presence know so you can protect the pond!

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    1. Koi, the more expensive, the better, are favorites of raccoons. For years, we called the pond a sushi bar.

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  9. Which politicians are as cute as raccoons?
    No fish are safe...nor are the pond plants. They make a nice salad on the side.

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  10. They are very cute, and not very nice neighbors.

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  11. Oh gosh, yes I believe it because I saw one the other day, too. Except the one I saw was huge! As it was crawling out of a tree, I actually thought it was a bear cub ... it was that big. It wasn't until I saw the striped tail that I realized it was a raccoon. I had the same reaction as Jean (re: rabies), because the one I saw was during the late afternoon on a bright, sunny day. But then I did some research and found out the do come out during the day sometimes--particularly during the spring, and particularly mother 'coons, who must forage for their babies. I don't have electric fencing, but so far they haven't caused much damage. We've had them here in the neighborhood for years, but this is the first time I've seen one during the day. Great photos!

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  12. Oh well, you know my feelings about raccoons. I've actually felt somewhat more sympathetic toward them since one appeared in my garden "after hours" in the morning light several weeks ago, looking a little worse for wear (as my mother would have said). I've seen no evidence of raccoons in my garden since that stare-down (but now I've probably jinxed myself by mentioning the fact). PBS had an interesting feature on urban raccoons (part of a series on backyard critters), which also made me sympathetic to their circumstances. They DO like water, though, so protect those Koi!

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  13. Haha, I love the comparison with politicians. Cute animal but I hope it does not eat your fish.

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  14. Butter wouldn't melt! I've read on numerous posts the destruction these buggers cause and think you'd better protect those fish Peter or else you could be running out of ammo!

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  15. Butter wouldn't melt! I've read on numerous posts the destruction these buggers cause and think you'd better protect those fish Peter or else you could be running out of ammo!

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.