As I stepped off the front porch and onto the front walk, I heard the fluttering of wings and looked over at the large spruce just in time to see…
A large bird—a hawk, an owl?—fly off and around the corner of the house.
He or she had been sitting in the spruce, patiently waiting for dinner to arrive in the form of one of the little birds who come to my feeders.
Then I saw all the feathers in the lawn and realized this wasn’t this hawk-owl’s first meal at my feeders.
And now the little birds have been spooked and aren’t coming to the feeders, at least for awhile.
Sigh. You try to do something nice and then…
Well, anyway. I also disturbed a rabbit who went running off in the direction toward the open garage.
Fortunately, the rabbit had enough sense to not run into the garage.
Last winter, though, mice somehow got into my garage—I think they were hiding out in a big bag of peanuts I bought to feed bluejays—and let’s just say “I win.” They aren’t any more mice in the garage, as near as I can tell.
I’ll be more watchful this winter and I have traps ready to spring.
Speaking of mouse traps, earlier this summer, on one of those days when the air quality was so poor they warned everyone to stay indoors, I was sitting inside and out of the corner of my eye, I noticed movement in the back garden. Looking out, I saw a raccoon lumbering across the middle of the back lawn. In the daytime. Slowly.
That is not normal raccoon behavior. They prowl at night and while they aren’t as fast as a mouse, they aren’t that slow either.
I had enough time to take out my phone and take a video of the raccoon and that’s when I realized it had an old-fashioned snappy mouse trap caught on its paw.
Raccoon crossing the back garden
By the way, the above clip is my first time to upload a video to a blog post, so we’ll see how that goes. My public-service-to-raccoons announcement is please don’t set those kind of traps outdoors where larger animals, like raccoons or dogs or cats, might get curious and end up with a trap on a paw.
The rest of the story of the raccoon, as far as I know, is my neighbor next door saw it and was trying to figure out how to free it from the trap. But later he saw the raccoon without the trap. Somehow, the raccoon got it off, but was still limping.
My neighbor sees the raccoon more than I do because he puts food out for a feral cat that’s been hanging around this summer, which of course, the raccoons eat too, right after they dine on my not-ripe-enough-for-me-to-pick tomatoes and leave them half smashed on the paths in the Vegetable Garden Cathedral.
Back to the feral cat. He (or she) hangs out a lot in my back lawn.
He (or she) doesn’t have a notched ear so I don’t believe he has been neutered or she has been spayed. That’s apparently what they do when they catch feral cats, spay/neuter them, and then return them to the wild. They notch an ear so you know that particular cat doesn’t have to be caught again for that purpose.
And no, I didn’t get that close to her/him. I zoomed in to take that picture.
Since the cat hangs out in the back garden, I’ve seen fewer rabbits and chipmunks back there, but I have seen them in the front more.
Or I could be imagining that.
I just hope the feral cat, which I’ve named Effsee, doesn’t scare away The Halloween Hare.
And that annoyed look on his face is probably because he arrived too late in the garden to be included in my book Creatures and Critters: Who’s in My Garden, but that’s just a guess on my part. I’ve seen enough cat meme’s to know you don’t really ever know what a cat is really thinking.
I could go on about the wildlife, but that’s enough for now. I need to go out and finally finish cleaning up the garage where the mice tried to set up their little camp for the winter last year…