Not dainty little cat paws and squirrel prints, mind you, although they are part of the mix. Instead, they're big tracks. Big non-dog tracks.
Our new neighbors first made their presence known last week. I noticed the faint impressions of their footprints circling around the trash can.
"I think we have a raccoon jones-ing around the trash," I told my date over coffee later that morning.
Raccoons and trash can are NOT a good combination.
|Raccoon. Not to scale. |
THIS is what was circling around the trash can.
"Those are pretty big paw prints," my date admitted.
Hah! Vindication! Now, in addition to being a Queen and Supreme Goddess, I am an official Wildlife Tracking Specialist. With a small assist from Google Images.
Intrigued, we tumbled into our boots and took a turn around the Back Forty, which took all of about 5 minutes.
We do, indeed, have raccoon neighbors. A couple by the looks of things.
And then we made another intriguing discovery: Criss-crossing the patio, apparently favoring the large yew that serves as a privacy hedge protecting us from the gaze of the Hedgekiller's House (that's another story) another neighbor made his presence known, leaving a trail that looked something like this:
Yep, that's right.
Rounding out our urban menagerie:
Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you feel about critters; let's just say we briefly considered night photography and motion sensors) our furry four-legged neighbors are nocturnal and somewhat solitary. It is unlikely either will tangle with Ben -- or us -- at least in the next few months while we are all cozied up inside our respective dens.
We'll keep an eye out for fresh tracks. . . perhaps catching a glimpse of our visitors at dusk or at dawn.
And as long as no one shows up in black and white stripes -- or messes with the trash can -- we'll all get along just fine.
|I come in peace.|
Did somebody say "Trash can?"