Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Proof Possum-tive

Have ye no doubt in the power of the peanut butter and pretzel sticks bait. Case in point...on the fourth setting of the trap on the following morning we find Mr. (or Mrs.) Possum lounging in the cage:
He/she was fairly unimpressed with our closer investigation, but still not nasty enough to warrant anything other than being released.
It waddled its way over to the neighbor's house (sorry Renos)! And the scoreboard has been updated.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Batting 1000

After capturing a raccoon last week I set the trap the very next night. We caught a possum. Since he was a gentleman (meaning he didn't hiss or growl at me) and I have no evidence that he is residing somewhere he should not, I set him free and he waddled off down the alley. Then we took a few nights off from what Eric refers to as "land fishing". Last night I set the trap again with our tried and true bait- pretzel sticks and peanut butter. Let's say I did that about 9pm. Just for fun I checked it about 10:30. Lo and behold...I found this guy:
We think he's number 2 of 3 who lives in the neighbor's roof (make that LIVED in the neighbor's roof).
So far we've not set the trap and NOT caught anything. Kinda funny and kinda frightening. I decided more funny and decided to keep score on our chalkboard in the kitchen:
Let's hope I don't have to add any other faces to the board. A squirrel wouldn't be bad...and there's the ground hog spotted in the shed. Luckily so far we haven't seen (or smelled) any evidence of skunks! I have no idea what we'd do if we caught one of those.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Oh Brother Where Art Thou?

Along the way we picked up our own humane animal trap. It's been sitting in the back yard with the wrought iron fencing pieces. Since we put up the fence yesterday it gave me impetus to also clean up and set the trap. I used our tried and true bait of pretzels and peanut butter (after all, if I love them, why wouldn't the raccoons?) But let me give you some background information. Since we moved in we've thoroughly enjoyed our second story porch. We like to sit out there with a glass of wine and watch the comings and goings in the alley. Before the seasonal skeeters (mosquitoes are thick down here by the river) chased us back in the house we became acquainted with a trio of raccoon siblings who would ramble about during dusk. We think one got a little too comfy in our yard back in June

That was when they were tiny and pretty cute. Now we've determined that they are all grown up and living in the neighbor's roof where it overlooks our house. We discovered this twofold: once while I was lying in bed Bogart suddenly became rapt with something going on outside. For visual effect, imagine Bogart calmly lying next to me in bed one moment getting his ears scratched then jumping up and "pointing" to something intriguing outside (and, effectively over my head). A raccoon was peering over the neighbor's gutter into the bedroom windows of our house. Further outside investigation with a flashlight led to the determination that the usual suspects (all 3 masked siblings) were foraging in the gutters. Another recent evening E was returning from a stroll with the hounds when he witnessed one of the now larger raccoons prying its body out of the hidey hole in the roof. Note: Eric is aware of the hole because he's been up there on a ladder cleaning out our neighbor's gutters (a task they do not see fit to accomplish themselves) in an effort to keep our basement drier.

While putting up the fence we mentioned the furry tenants to our neighbor who owns the house and who was on her front porch. She seemed entirely unfazed with the news as evidenced by this comment, "Really? Oh, I knew I had a squirrel living in there, but I didn't know anything about the raccoons!" Well, alrighty then! Keep in mind that an enormous branch from the tree in her backyard that was blown over during the "hurricane" back in mid-September is still attached to the trunk and lying across the backyard. We suspect she'll address the animal issue with the same urgency.

So, just for "fun" we set the trap out by the van. And early this morning found it occupied with one of the bandits. At first we weren't sure whether it was one of our familiar trio, but then the evidence mounted. I heard something on the neighbor's roof and saw a single raccoon "watching" us investigate the trap. Then we heard something clammoring through the bushes (we thought on the other side of the neighbor's yard). Until Eric shouted, "Mary! He's on the tree RIGHT NEXT TO ME!" Once spotted he decided to go a little further up the tree (but he was originally only about 8 feet fewer)

When I started taking photos of him he sought refuge in the crook of the tree:
We decided he was trying to spring his bro (we're assuming gender here, we didn't check). He failed and his sibling will now reside....elswhere.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Just in time to add Halloween flair

You may recall that about this time last year we went on an adventure to Dayton and purchased an old wrought iron fence. Those unwieldy pieces have been resting in the backyard (chained up of course given the price of scrap metal these days) since we moved in back in April. Yesterday, E got the brilliant idea that we should try to put it up. So off to Lowe's we went to purchase rebar and straps. We had six lengths of wrought iron fencing in various lengths. The fence took about an hour to install, each length had a wrought iron tube attached which was perfect for hammering a piece of rebar in to anchor it. We used metal straps to anchor the end pieces to the hand rail and adjacent sections of fence. Here's Eric levelling the fence:
The view from the sidewalk:

An "artistic" view from the lawn...
One of these days we'll scrape and repaint the fence black. For now we think it adds extra spooky ambiance to our Halloween decor!