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.

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