I wear a mask when I’m out and about, but in my mask, I’m not nearly as cute as this little masked miscreant. The only non-blurry photo I’ve managed, even with numerous sightings of one-to-three juvenile raccoons, happened as one of the critters bumble off from a drop-in at the pond for some tadpole sushi. As it scuttled from the garden, the young raccoon stopped briefly beside the mosaic dog that marks my beloved Asher’s grave, turned around and posed for the shot. I don’t think the raccoon is glaring at me, but I’m sure it was annoyed at my interruption of its bog meal.
I’ve dubbed the three siblings Larry, Moe, and Curly. The first few sightings were only of Larry and Moe, but on one occasion, Curly showed up too. A trio! This is about the time of year for Mama Raccoon to boot the juveniles out of her care as it’s likely she has a new crew to care for. Raccoons are prolific in their baby-making.
Raccoons, especially the babies and juveniles, are darling; the adorable face, rakish mask, stripey tail, and their irrepressible curiosity all conspire to produce the inevitable human response: awe, it’s so cute!! But it’s best to remember that while raccoons have a place in the environment, they are wild animals, they can carry disease, and they can be destructive. A few years ago a funny foursome of juveniles took up residence under our solar panels. We’d been traveling for a few weeks and I’m confident that the quiet of the house and garden encouraged their squatting on the roof and under the panels. When we returned, we spied their charming antics, chuckled, then set up a rooftop radio to encourage them to move along–which they all did within a couple of days.
A few weeks later, Central Texas endured heavy rainfall and flooding when about 14 inches of rain fell in a few hours–the 2013 Halloween Flood. The next day I noticed some water damage on the ceiling and along a wall in the dining room. While snuggled under the solar panels, those rascally raccoons had eaten through the shingles to the wood decking–though not beyond. As the heavy rain fell, some of the rain leaked through the roof and into the house. I’m betting they were aiming to set up camp in the attic; thank goodness they didn’t get that far. Fortunately, the damage wasn’t bad, but repair was required and it wasn’t cheap!
I’ve had a chat with Moe, Larry, and Curly, suggesting that they spread out far and wide, encouraging them to visit a variety of new and interesting places. I reiterated that they’re welcome to raid the compost pile (after dark, please!) and to check out the bog for tadpoles, but they are to steer clear of the roof.
Seriously, keep your fuzzy butts off of my roof!
I haven’t seen any of the three for a few days. Maybe my lecture worked?
Linking with Anna’s Flutter and Hum and Wednesday Vignette. Pop over for garden stories, which may, or may not, include raccoons.