evening visitor

A couple of days ago, while I was washing vegetables at the kitchen sink, I caught sight of something moving around on the side of one of the trees in the back garden. I grabbed my camera and shot a couple of photos. The visitor turned out to be a Raccoon hanging from the tree staring at the house. Over the past week, we’ve seen several Raccoons out and about. Skunks are also active now, so I’ve been taking care to check the yard before letting Sabrina out to roam. When she was younger and more foolish, she raced up close to get a good look at a Skunk that she found in the garden — and got sprayed. She’s a lot more careful these days. If I open the front door and there’s any scent of Skunk in the air, she’ll usually hang back and decide that she doesn’t really want to go outside after all.

As you can see from the Raccoon photo, there’s still plenty of snow on the ground. I can’t remember there *ever* being this much snow on the ground on April 5th — which also happens to be Don’s birthday. Happy birthday, Don! (note: the photo below was taken on a much sunnier, warmer occasion when Don and I were traveling in Oregon in October 2006).

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9 Responses to “evening visitor”

  1. Wayne Says:

    Happy birthday, Don!

    Obviously the raccoon wanted to come in and keep y’all warm.

    When we first moved here in 1991 we fed the cats out on the back deck and would have raccoons bring their babies up to eat. We quickly realized that wasn’t a good idea, and so though the wildlife cam shows plenty of photos of them deep in the woods, they don’t come visit anymore.

    We’ve never seen the first skunk, although they’re certainly around as evidenced by the occasional roadkill.

  2. Wayne Says:

    By the way, Bev – the snow cratering around the tree – is that just due to where the snow lands? Or do you think it’s evidence of warmth through tree metabolism?

  3. Tussock Mirth Says:

    Isn’t that a nice picture of Riverside Donny!

    I like it.

    It’s got contemplative happiness,
    and a bag with a sandwich.

    Just the basics,
    a person needs.
    To feel happy.
    The river, of course. Need the river too.

    Well, it helps.
    Somtimes, just a sandwich is enough.
    But a sandwich AND a river, well ~ that’s a good day. Especially if it’s a tee-shirt day, and not a snowmobile-suit day.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with a river and snowmobile-suit day ~ as that would be better than just a snowmobile-suit and sandwich day.

    It’s all about food-combining.

    No – it’s all about river-combining.

    Rivers, are good for us.

    You think about these kinds of things when you’re at a river.

    Or even looking at a picture like that, of yourself, at a river.

    Yep. That’s a good one.

    It’s got Everything.

    And some Peace to go with it.

    I like it.

    Donny Birthday.

  4. bev Says:

    Wayne — Don says “thanks!” Regarding the cratering around the trees, that begins to happen as soon as the sun starts to get stronger and warmer in late winter. I’m not sure of the mechanism, but I kind of think it has to do with the darker tree absorbing the warmth of the sunlight and conducting it down to where the snow meets the tree. Over time, it gradually melts back, leaving the space around the tree.

    Tussock Mirth – Don thanks you very much for your treatise on rivers, sandwiches and birthdays. (-:

  5. John Says:

    Happy birthday, Don! If I were in your neck of the woods, I’d make a very stout batch of wonderful vegetarian chili to celebrate the event! In place of meat (which I tend to use in ample quantities in my own version), I’d use cauliflower and eggplant…but I’d not pull any punches and it would be a SPICY birthday!

  6. robin andrea Says:

    Happy birthday, Don! That is a great photograph, on a river in Oregon. Looks bright and sunny on a beautiful fall day.

    We haven’t seen the raccoons lately, but we have seen their tracks in the mud in different places in the yard. They mostly prowl around long after we’ve gone to bed. Fortunately we have not seen or smelled a skunk since we moved to Washington. We found it very interesting that while we were in California we smelled skunk a few times a week. That was in a very residential area. Quite a surprise.

  7. Cathy Wilson Says:

    OH! A belated Happy Birthday to Don! I do love that picture of him. I’m so ready to bask in the sunshine.

    I know the critters are out and about. What do they live on this time of year? Sure seems like slim pickings out there.

  8. bev Says:

    John, Robin and Cathy – Thanks for everyone’s birthday wishes. Don appreciated them very much! We celebrated with chocolate cake. We’re not usually much for desserts around here, so it made for a special occasion.
    And Cathy – People in this area have been mentioning that the raccoons and skunks seem to be searching for food even during daylight hours, so the general consensus is that they are probably hungrier than usual due to the delayed snow melt.

  9. Karen Says:


    My husband just set up our own birdhouse camera in the backyard. He put it the wooden bird house on a metal pole close to a big ornamental cherry tree by our sundeck.

    The little wrens checked it out a few days later and have now started building their nest. They are using our pampas grass tassels as building material. Now whenever I look out the window and see them, I turn on the TV and can watch the activity inside the birdhouse too.

    I can’t wait to see baby birds! I think this would be very educational for families with young children.

    The Hawk Eye . . . it turns your birdhouse and backyard into an entertainment center.

    The Hawk Eye night vision, color camera with sound comes already mounted inside the wooden birdhouse. (suitable for most small birds; blue birds, chickadees, wrens etc.) Just plug it into your TV and enjoy viewing wildlife from your favorite easy chair.

    Watch your backyard birds:

    building their nest
    laying eggs
    eggs hatching
    hungry babies being fed
    The bird house is hinged on the side for easy clean out for the next family. Instructions are provided. You can also buy the camera separately and use it outside around hummingbird feeders, birdbaths, etc.

    Check out this video of baby birds taken with the new Hawk Eye Cam:


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