Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fur coat on a hot day.

Crows were having conniptions out front. I think I'm beginning to understand them; I was sure it was the particular alarm call for "raccoon." And it was. A raccoon was in the lily pond in a neighbour's front yard, after what I'm not sure. Water probably. It was odd to see the animal out in the heat of the day--it was pretty much high noon.

It was startled at seeing me, and ambled between the houses to the back yard. I watched it over the fence. It seemed to be foraging, looking under stones,


sticking its paws beneath anything that might hide a juicy invertebrate. Then it really surprised me. It came over the fence into our yard, as the kids were playing with the hose. It rummaged around behind the rhododendrons, sifting through leaves, fifteen feet from noisy children. Rabies is rare here, nonetheless, a fearless raccoon out in daylight isn't normal. It was brutally hot yesterday (as it is today). Could it not sleep? Was it thirsty?


I turned the hose to the shower setting and let the water rain down on the creature. It seemed grateful, sitting still with eyes closed. It then went over the back fence and climbed a pear tree heavy with fruit. The crows returned, cawed crazily for a while, then gave up. I lost sight of Rocky (the inevitable name). I left the wading pool out last night, so thirsty mammals might drink, and sleep well the next day.

7 comments:

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

Well aren't you nice to wildlife

Hugh said...

Aunt D,
I have a soft spot for raccoons. Plus it's horrendously hot (by our, not your, standards). Today was, I believe, the hottest day here ever recorded. Poor critters aren't prepared for that.

Eskarina said...

He really is very cute peeking out from under the rhodo. Nasty little goldfish eater (yes, I hold a grudge) but really cute.

Nobody here is prepared for this heat - most of us left places with hot summers to enjoy the temperate climate. Ah well, it will end eventually.

Karen said...

OK, they are bugging my garden this summer but still, way cute. And nice that you and s/he had a little moment there with the sprinkler. I saw a very slow-moving squirrel today, can't imagine how they are coping with all that fur on and nowhere to cool off. Misting tents for wildlife in every backyard, maybe? Oh, do crows pant when it's hot? I swear I saw one doing that yesterday.

Coastcard said...

... and here we are with rain and more rain (& even the central heating on in the mornings!). Oh for a bit of sunshine. The raccoon pix. are terrific - one of my favourite animals, though I have never seen one in the wild.

swamp4me said...

I've seen raccoons out and about in the mid-day sun (and hot is not at all unusual for us). Usually it's a female with young to feed, sometimes it's a sick one. I think given the unusual temps you are experiencing in your area it was probably just looking for some relief. You're a good man to have provided for it.

Hugh said...

Eskarina, The past year has certainly provided some interesting weather. (Always something to complain about or marvel at, depending on your disposition).

Karen, They do sit there with their bills open, often with their wings hanging. They sure look as though panting. It must not be fun to be a black animal in this weather.

Coastcard, Many people regard raccoons as pests, but it's not the raccoons, it's them. Sending you sunny,warm-weather vibes.

Swampy, I'm not certain this one was entirely healthy. It looked a bit thin.