Friday, August 17, 2007

A LITTLE PRE-DAWN TARGET PRACTICE

That's what the damn raccoons get when they wake me up a half-hour early with their bickering. I roused out of a sound sleep to this odd, squeaking noise. My first thought was a transient wheeling a stolen shopping cart down the alley in search of aluminum cans. A moment of lucidity presented another option -- raccoons! Damn.

We've had some problems with varmints in the neighborhood. This summer, we've been "woofed" several times by skunks fending off attackers....unfortunately they're residing under the house and it sneaks through every crack and crevice. This hundred-year-old house has a LOT of cracks and crevices. Last week it was an opossum that woke us up four times in the night. More accurately, it stirred up the hens and it was the girls distress that woke us except for the time the silly critter got his big ol' butt stuck in a ground-mounted wind chime and did a bunch of ringing before he pulled himself free. I'm sure it was sheer embarrassment that kept him away after that. Worst of all, it was raccoons that killed the neighbor's bunny that was in a hutch in the back yard. Their little girls were the ones that discovered the grisly mess left when two raccoons had fought over their prey. I'm sure it those coons I spotted this morning.

...this morning. Five o'clock. Squeaking. Mark is out of town so I grabbed the flashlight and scanned the yard from our upstairs bedroom window. No sign of anything. The hens were nestled all snug on their perch. I listened a little more then shined the light into the neighbors' yard. What were those four shiny things? EYES! Those two critters were sitting on the footbridge (we call it the Bridge on the River Koi) preparing to feast. I cocked my BB gun and "pow" -- BULLSEYE! A couple more successful shots (not bad for five in the a.m. with an underpowered and inaccurate weapon) and they were gone. I heard them again about twenty minutes later but couldn't see them anywhere. I'm sure they heard my window fly open and thought better of bickering around that crazy woman.

What an invigorating start to a Friday! Don't these critters know we live in the damn city?!

1 comment:

Monica Topping said...

w, there's a part of me that wishes I had a BB gun for the skunkies (raccoons haven't been around so much since the neighbor's "ivy tree" was taken down), but then... I don't want to make the skunks mad.
After last night, I did a little bit of reading up on said skunks, and was informed by many websites and skunk-spray warnings start with them facing you with the tail in the air, then stamping their front feet. Then they turn around and spray. If nothing else, if you know what to look for, hopefully it'll give you (or me) enough time to beat feet out of there.
Also, skunk babies are born with spray glands, but don't spray til they're 8 days old.
Oh, and the eastern spotted skunks (not the stripy guys we have here in the west) can actually spray while doing a hand-stand. Glad we don't have those buggers here.
Learn something new every day! And I'm sure the Zoellner's appreciated your BB-action.