We live in the country, so of course we have lots of wild visitors around our house. It’s important for people to remember that when they move into new areas, they are displacing habitat for wild animals. Be they raccoons, bears, deer or whatever.
Many people move to the country because of its beauty, quiet, and yes even its wild life. Then they get upset when those very things come to their “habitat” and eat the flowers, get into the horse grain or trash cans.
You moved into their world. Make them a part of yours, or they might do it for you. We don’t have problems with the critters getting into the trash cans, because we feed them instead. On the few occasions when we haven’t, yep they get into things we wish they wouldn’t. Like the trash, the bird feeder and even the hummingbird feeder. Some times you have to adjust your life to live in harmony with theirs. After all, your house might have been the tree they climbed, or the den they built or the place they lived.
Last night a Momma Raccoon who I’ve seen a number of times, came by with her new babies. And they totally enjoyed the offering of dog food. This time she brought company. She brought her new babies for a visit! I’ve been able to open the door and talk to her in the past. So last night I thought I’d give it a try again with the babies there. Try to ignore the weed-whacker someone forgot to put away. Grrr!
On and off over the years we’ve been adopted by wild cats. Some we have been able to befriend, others will visit but won’t let us get near them. The current male cat, Smokey is the last of the wild pride who visits and who adopted us early on in his life when he had family here. He’s also the Dad to two of our 4 indoor cats. One of the consequences of allowing him inside on a very cold winters night.
Of course being the animal person I am, we set food out for the wild cats. And of course that invites Opossums, Raccoon and the occasional Skunk. I could actually do without their visits. Even if they don’t go out of their way to spray, they still leave a nasty odor lingering in the air! We certainly don’t need them spraying the Dalmatian who sleeps on our bed at night either! We have water snakes who live by the dock, a mating pair of Bald Eagles, Red Tailed Hawks a plenty, two Gray Herrings, hummingbirds that visit the back porch feeder and the assortment of ravens, crows, starlings, cardinals, blue jays, finches and other varying birds. Garrett calls me “Ellie Mae Irwin” after Ellie Mae Clampet (of Beverly Hillbillies fame) and Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter. I like animals, what can I say.
Since I’ve watched and talked to Mom before, I had a feeling she might be ok with the close encounter. But she has babies to protect now. So I wasn’t sure she would allow them to remain.
With a little patience, moving slow and calmly, sure enough I got the door and the screen door open. I was surprised at how brave the babies were.
She got a little close to the door herself to check things out. I guess she wanted to make sure I was the same person who had visited before. It takes a little time to build trust with any animal. But especially wild ones.
Once she was satisfied things were ok, she went back to munching away herself. But the baby on the right in the family picture above was the bravest. I’m going to guess that one is female as she’s the smaller of the two pups.
It appeared they had knocked over the food earlier in the evening. And the little girl was determined to get all the munchies that had fallen out of the bowl. She did get close enough for me to touch her, but that probably wouldn’t have been a good idea. It was hard to resist though. But I did refrain from doing so. The last thing we need around here are visits to the ER for a raccoon bite.
Still they’re nearly irresistible, as babies usually are. You simply want to cuddle and snuggle with them. Earlier in the evening we were watching a PBS episode of NOVA. This one was titled “Kings Of Camouflage” and featured the Cuttlefish. The way Cuttle is pronounced sounds like cuddle. I was thinking through out the show that it really wasn’t something I’d want to cuddle with. Not to mention these fish live mainly around Australia. Have you ever noticed that nearly every animal (if not every one) in Australia can kill you. Even the most benign animals have some form of poison that can drop an adult in an instant. Including the smallest of the cuttlefish, which is about the size of your thumb and loaded with posion.
Now it was probably a good thing we watched this cuttlefish episode before our baby visitation. Because I probably would have made an attempt to touch and pet one of these little guys. I mean look at that face. How can you not want to snuggle with him.
It was very interesting to watch their behavior during their visit. It began raining last night and Mom was very attentive to the sounds going on around her and in the backyard. Several times she walked to the edge of the porch and peered out into the darkness of the backyard. I wondered if Smokey was out there trying to come in out of the rain.
She must have decided everything was fine, as she went back to eating. The little girl seemed to have gotten full and began wondering around the porch. She too went to the edge and peered out into the yard. After a few more minutes, Mom began to walk away, heading for the porch on the side of the house and out the front steps. The kids slowly wandered behind her, but the boy seemed to want to return to the food. It was very interesting listening to her yell for him to “come on”. And like a good little boy he went running off to Momma and they were gone. For a little while at least. I’m sure they’ll be back tonight.
© 2013 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D. Springwolf Reflections / Springs Haven, LLC. All Rights Reserved.