Yesterday was a red letter day visitor-wise. I think it was around nine-thirty when our up-the-street neighbor Anne came calling. She was just back from California and brought some Meyer lemons and oranges from her daughter’s trees. A wonderful treat on such a wintery day!
Over her protests, I insisted she come in for a few minutes and we did a little “catching up” before she said she really had to be going. But, of course, we were still visiting even as I opened the door and she stepped out. Suddenly, she stopped and said, “Oh look! Raccoons!”
And there were two fat fellows scampering across our south lawn. One bolted up into the cotoneaster and was lost from view. The other, however, was probably a little feistier. He started up the holly tree, turned around after a foot or two and stayed motionless, staring at us. I could almost hear him saying, “Come on! I dare you!”
I raced for my camera, but before I could focus, he was up into the foliage and gone. Anne managed to get a picture of him in the crotch of the tree, again staring at her as if to say, “Bring it on!”
All that time – maybe two minutes total – I hadn’t given a thought to our girls! Yikes! I had let them out, as usual, about eight o’clock. Without so much as a “goodbye” to Anne, I dashed off to see if they were still alive and well or just carcasses strewn across the back forty. They were all in their pen (even though the gate was wide open), huddled together but otherwise seemingly unconcerned. Good. I gave them a little extra scratch for good measure and locked them in the run. No tasty chicken meals for those cheeky raccoons! Not today, anyway.
I thought raccoons were supposed to be nocturnal. What the heck? I’m thinking our girls will have to stay confined until we can rid ourselves of those fat bandits. Or until they move on. I think it has to be a Division of Labor thing. I saved the hens; Nyel needs to deal with the raccoons. Don’t ask. Don’t tell.