However, this morning we were sitting out on the deck and there was a persistent scrabbling noise out there in the woods and I was wondering what it was... until it was pointed out to me that there was a raccoon in a nearby tree. Two, in fact. They looked young and stupid and very stuck, trying to descend said tree very very gingerly ("How the hell did I get UP here? There's GOT to be an easier way down!!!") and then they finally flumped down on the ground from a couple of feet up and vanished somewhere so fast that there is in fact a very good chance that we have a raccoon burrow right underneath that tree.
No, I am NOT going out there to investigate. They have a reputation, raccoons do, and I don't want to mess with them up close and personal - but if they are living in our woods that makes me oddly content. I have a yard where a wild creature can find a home, and we can live side by side, they and I, and I can enjoy watching them gambol by and they are welcome to help themselves to whatever seed our resident tribe of two different species of squirrels leaves uneaten.
Speaking of the squirrels, we threw out a heel of old bread yesterday, out onto the deck - and rdeck and I were sitting out there in the golden hour just before the sun set and there it came, one of our tiny Cheekies (the little brown Douglas squirrels) - it poked its head out onto the deck, saw the bread lying there, and very resolutely marched right up to it and took it in its mouth and marched away. No haste, no speed. Just a CLAIMING. My food. Mine. Everyone else can go hang.
I love those little critters.
Currently what we are having is a Jay Day with a tribe of Stellar's Jays flocking the feeder where there is a fresh supply of peanuts - I swear, these peanuts emit high-pitched hypersonic sounds which attract the jays to the feeder, there are NEVER as many of them as when I put a batch of fresh peanuts out. And they are not a flocky kind of bird at all so seeing them in any number - especially if they're suffering each other to eat side by side without quarreling about it - is always a treat. The other day, however, there was a chorus and a cacophony of massed jay shrieks outside in the front and when I went to investigate there was some two dozen jays hanging about in nearby trees surrounding this little clearing and SCREAMING at a cat which sat there in the midst of it. The cat ran away when I got there, and the jays quietened down - but soon started the noise up again and went out to investigate once more thinking that maybe there was a hatchling on the ground or something. THe cat, who was back, ran away again when I arrived - but this time I looked closer and I saw egg shards on the ground. That cat must have raided a nest somewhere close and the jays were up in arms about that - ALL of them - for once acting in concert.
We currently have one very mad squirrel chittering from the tree - I don't know what its problem is unless that it's simply that it has eaten everything on offer and is complaining about the service at this damned restaurant ("there's NEVER any food when I want it!") The raccoons have vanished. The world is full of birdsong and the green-filtered light of summer.
I live in paradise.