Saturday, June 13, 2009


I love raccoons although they are considered a pest to many humans. We have had them in our house. They found their way in through the cat door and into our kitchen. Washing their little paws in a glass of water and leaving a trail of dirty paw prints to see where they had ventured. That was before we had dogs!

Now their evidence of their presence is less spectacular. We wake up in the middle of the night by falling trash cans during their attempts to open them. Sometimes they succeed and trash is simply everywhere. Luckily we are big time recyclers and we hardly waste any food and everything gets washed before ending up as “trash” in our bins.

Raccoons are incredibly intelligent and learn fast and remember when successful. I ran into three very well fed raccoons last year although I had believed they are solitary animals. Our neighbor once caught one and it was incredible aggressive. We released it miles away from our neighborhood only for it to return to the area. Very dedicated animals!

They are little thieves and their features made them famous. The facial mask and front paws, which almost look like hands. I remember one encounter I cherished the most. Our cat Puppy was sitting on the front porch and a raccoon was sitting on the other side and they were just looking at each other. Puppy is a Maine Coon mix and has survived living here for many years. Totally unimpressed by the presence of the predator she stood her ground. I guess the raccoon wasn’t hungry that day!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Black tailed deer & poison oak

As I am sitting behind my laptop after my morning hike I am watching the dogs sleep peacefully in the play area. I just had lunch and I’m catching up on work. I should be focusing on admin but with just 15 minutes left before I leave for my drop off round I have decided to relax and update my blog.

Earlier I had watched black tailed deer eat fresh poison oak. Just last year we took out a few poison oak plants growing on the unused part of our property. The poison oak is happily growing and the deer just love it. Most humans unknowingly come in contact with this toxic plant and it can cause some serious allergic reaction. One of my friends had it so bad she was hospitalized for a few days and she literally scratched the tainted skin area open.

The buck and doe that were eating the poison oak underneath our beautiful buck eye were totally undisturbed when we walked up the driveway with a whole pack of dogs. The taste of poison oak delighting their taste buds! You could just see it.