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03 July 2011

Weekend Update from Galt's Gulch: Raccoon War

All other residents and annual visitors have left the mostly-summer getaway I like to refer to as Galt's Gulch.  (Actually, I'd prefer calling it the less aurally offensive Mulligan's Valley, but that would be like calling myself Jesus.)  I've not spent much time here alone.  Only two other times that I can recall, but to be fair, one of those times a scab was on the premises.

This time I was left with a list of chores.  Minimal stuff, but enough to set up a routine.  I'm thinking I'd like to maintain this routine when the others return -- unless, of course, those already holding the positions enjoy them and would object.

Ducks: fed.  Mail: tended.  Hummingbird feeder: full.  Plants: watered.  Flying squirrels: fed, watched, enjoyed.

The unlisted chore = protecting flying squirrels and flying squirrel feeder from Raccoon Invasion.

Last night I stayed up (too) late reading Ann Coulter and watching the flying squirrels.  Caught up (and nauseated) by her compact descriptions of French Revolution mobs, I didn't notice if raccoons were robbing the nest, although I'm preferring to think they were not.  (Note: blogspot's spellcheck is telling me that "raccoons" is not a word.  Ironically, it is also telling me that "blogspot" and "spellcheck" are not words.)

Tonight I unintentionally changed the internal lighting of my lookout/reading post.  Or, rather, I began reading before sunset and only flipped on one light after it got dark.  Plus the external light, which I believe signals the flying squirrels that it's dinner (breakfast) time.  Around 11:00 (when the Master Raccoon Fighter -- with a BB gun -- retires), the raccoons began their games.

I think there are three: scrawny, regular, and dough-boy.  Regular tries first and is quickest to scurry down the tree when I wave the broom and make noise.  Shortly after, Regular sends up Scrawny to try.  As my loathing for them has increased, my anthropomorphizing increases as well.  (When they were "just raccoons", they were adorable animals.  Now they are sinister fiends.)  I imagine them hiding beneath the porch, Regular trying to coax one of the other two into testing the waters.  So, that happened twice: Regular, then Scrawny.  Regular tried one last time, and then he sent Dough-boy up.  I swear, Dough-boy is twice the size of Scrawny.

I felt like an angry old man yelling at kids while I waved a broom at the raccoons, banged the porch to make noise, and protected the stash of sunflower seeds from their wrath.  Damn kids.

Usually my dad fires his BB gun at them.  He hates them, yet thus far he's been unable to bring out more serious firepower to take them down.  He aims for their butts.  Sometimes, after he fires, they glance around.  You know, as if a car horn unexpectedly honked.  I'd be cheering for him to take 'em out, except then we'd have to do something about the body...  and once they're dead, I fear they'll transform from the anthropomorphisms into cute li'l raccoons again.  *sigh*

In other news, tonight's portion of Ann Coulter's Demonic including nauseating details of the Weathermen's escapades and the racially "progressive" history of the Republican party.  (The latter, of course, was nauseating in that she compactly summed up the amazing things the Republican party has done to progress civil rights -- all of which has been distorted by the liberal rewriters of history.)  Speaking of, I'm in the middle of a chapter, and it's time to return.

ADDED:  I meant to return to Demonic but ended up at Wikipedia instead.  Did you know...
*For climbing down a tree headfirst—an unusual ability for a mammal of its size—a raccoon rotates its hind feet so they are pointing backwards.
*The most important sense for the raccoon is its sense of touch.
*Raccoons are thought to be color blind
*With their broad auditory range, they can perceive tones up to 50–85 kHz as well as quiet noises like those produced by earthworms underground.
*When food is plentiful, raccoons can develop strong individual preferences for specific foods.
*In the 1920s, wearing a raccoon coat was regarded as status symbol among college students.
*US President Calvin Coolidge's pet raccoon Rebecca was originally sent to be served at the White House Thanksgiving Dinner.

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