Raccoons’ Revenge

So that house I told you about…the one across the street that was a raccoon condo?

Ha ha ha. Maybe that really wasn’t a raccoon hole in the roof. Maybe?

It was torn down one day last week and that very night the homeless raccoons were everywhere around our house. Fiddling with things out front. Bashing down the “raccoon detector” newspaper panel under the porch. Fiddling with things our back. Walking across the side porch and looking in our window.

Gack!

tell-tale prints

(shadowy footprints in the porch dust)

They were back the next few nights…but maybe not since. It’s hard to tell.

I spent last weekend on a retreat with some friends who suggested that I speak to the raccoons and tell them to go away. OK, so they’re right. I’d actually try it at this point.

MEANWHILE, my garden is closing itself up for the year. The tomatoes are dying. So are the cucumbers. I got a couple last melons off the vine before it died. A few weeks ago things were still looking good.

melonBut then the mildew set in. The melons are nice–green and crisp and not very sweet. The good thing was that I’m pretty sure that the plant survived the squash vine borers that wrecked havoc with several other things earlier this summer. I might try this plant again next year.

cut melon

In place of the things that died I’ve planted some greens and lettuce. Hopefully I get some tasty things before the cold comes. So far it’s looking good.

Asian greens

There’re also more interesting insects to be found. One of the big garden spiders spun an egg case on our trash can and guarded it for a few days.

spider and eggsAnd then there is the praying mantis who’s been living in one of my fig trees. I’d thought it was kind of cute until one of my friends reminded me about the time a praying mantis living in her back yard grabbed a humming bird mid-air and ripped its heart out. Ew.

hello there, killerAutumn is starting to feel present in the back yard, from the changing leaves to the blooming mums to the last few butterflies visiting late blooms.

mum

fall leaves

final butterflies

And during that retreat last weekend I got to enjoy early autumn in the country. I remembered to bring my binoculars, so I could look for birds. Migration seemed to be in full swing. I saw some warblers, kinglets, and rose breasted grosebeaks, among others.

early autumn

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