Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Visit from a Masked Stranger

Ranger Rick must've spread the word that I have a raccoon-friendly abode. I came home at 10:30 last night from the Silver Spring Garden Club meeting and this guy (or gal) was climbing up one of my tall oaks making a lot of scritching/scratching noises. I really startled him as he was climbing fast. I ran in and got my camera. He was about 30 ft up by then so this is the best I could do in the dark. You can see his face mask and ears around his glowing eyes if you look really close at full size view.


FirePhrase said...

The racoons in my complex and the HOA have a long-standing grudge going on. The HOA folks set out humane traps and have the city "re-locate" the little guys. But somehow they keep turning up for an early morning re-enactment of the garbage scene from The Great Outdoors by the central dumpster. They're cute. But not cute enough to excuse their love of garbage.


Potato Leaf said...

I'll trade you -- one racoon (yours) for 22 deer (mine). However, don't put out your Hav-a-heart trap until I figure out how to catch the 22 deer. Or maybe I'll try to retrain the deer to eat garbage in dumpsters, rather than viburnums, maples, oaks, hollies, hostas, pansies, heucheras, lilies, roses, you-get-the-drift.

WashingtonGardener said...

I wonder where Firephrase's raccoons are being "re-located" to? The whole concept of moving them around seems counter-intuitive to me, but then again that will keep the animal-control folks in business, right?
Potato leaf - you are right - deer are so destructive, they make a few naughty raccoons look like a mighty welcome alternative. Still garbage-strewn streets are no fun either.
Raccoons are pretty darn smart - let's retrain them to clean out our gutters and sewer drains.

FirePhrase said...

The "re-location" does make you wonder. I'd like to think they're going to one of the nature preserves in town. But it does remind me of a town I lived in that relocated trapped prairie dogs to a small zoo that had a Prairie Dog Land. They also had a large snake habitat with some very chubby boa constrictors. I'll let you do the math on that one.


Doug in Mount Vernon said...

I remember shortly after I moved into my home in 2004 right after it was built, we'd get racoon visitors in the backyard every week or so--not sure why as there was nothing back there. I think the developers who razed 8-9 existing old homes on acre lots with lots of trees, and erected the 150+ townhouses and SFHs probably destroyed their habitat. Even so, they were probably used to poaching garbage....one night I saw the large adult escape into the sewer culvert and I haven't seen them since!

My neighbor tells me they still visit occasionally from the woods across the street.

I hope the little things are OK!

WashingtonGardener said...

I had another raccoon visitor a few years back - he was NOT so little - actually I bet he weighed more than me which was quite intimidating.