Each year we welcome at least one new family of raccoons into our yard. I shared our abundance of waking raccoons in Early March Raccooning, when last year’s kits and parents woke up hungry and looking for food.
One young lass, Hyacinthe, has frequented us regularly and, as we’ve learned, has five healthy kits (vids to follow at some point).
We also suspect she’s one of last year’s kits as she showed no fear of me and graciously took food from my hand.
Say hello to Hyacinthe, all.
Last week I shared Turkeys on the mating prowl in Two and a Half Toms. We continue the theme of Spring awakenings with today’s early March raccooning.
In early Spring all the Sleepers waken. Most are familiar with Bear. We have two, Horace and Lucien, who parade and not recently. Raccoons are not true sleepers, they do not hibernate, but they will go into prolonged sleep states to conserve energy. The pack it on before the snows hit and when they do rouse, they are hungry.
Case in point, these lovelies.
They come out in groups while remaining individuals. Kind of like everybody going to the club then going their separate ways in the hopes of nocturnal success.
I can write things like that because, in my younger days, I was among them.
No, not raccoons, clubbers.
Sometimes my early life’s behaviors disgust me.
But they do make good story fodder.
Humans are in a pandemic as I write this.
Covid-19. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?
Yet the Old Ones still gather daily and nightly in our yard.
I’ve often fretted about making offerings to The Old Ones. I make sure I offer enough to supplement, not enough to fulfill. I want them to find food their normal ways and not grow dependent. I worry what might happen to them once I pass.
Who will care for them?
I forget that they are Old Ones. They have survived human pestilence save humans being pestilence towards them.
I know certain diseases have ravaged wildlife.
I wonder if they know a disease is affecting Two-Legged life, or do they not care. Do they say amongst themselves, “They are Two-Legs. We were here before them, we will be here after them.”
I wonder how long the current pandemic will last. Or will it decimate Two-Legged life? Were the survivalists correct all along? If you’ve ever read Earth Abides or The Stand, you know the next chapter of humanity may not be all that pleasant.
And still, the Old Ones gather.
I’m sure they will after we’re gone.
The question is, how will they remember us.
So I’ll ask; how do you want to be remembered? Enter a comment. I’d like to know.
We are so blessed.
Almost every night and often during the day friends come to our table. In the backyard. On the ground. Makes after-dinner clean up so much easier.
Vernod, one of last year’s kits but I’m not sure whose, usually comes with a host of others. Most nights we have four to seven raccoons of various ages.
Some are cookie mongers. They’ll come up to me, actually stepping on my feet, to get peanut butter cookies (I love them myself. That’s how we discovered they were a raccoon favorite).
Others will take a cookie, yes, thank you, much away then return for peanuts in the shell. Unsalted, of course. Don’t want raccoons with high blood pressure.
Our guests dine healthy.
Give or take a cookie or two.
Sleep well, Little Ones. See you when you awake
Despite what you see, we are snow covered here.
Some patches of grass poke through where bright sunshine splashes the earth all day long, and for the most part the earth is wearing winter white.
We knew a heavy first snow approached.
The Old Ones told us.
They dined and dined and dined.
One might call them gluttonous if you didn’t know they prepared for long sleeps.
Truth be told, raccoons sleep heavily and some say they hibernate but the biology of hibernation eludes them.
Not that they seek it out, me thinks.
But right before a long nap, a full tummy.
Something to keep the inner fires burning hot while all about you is cold and quiet.
Nature’s design is a good one, perfected through millenia of modification.
Let’s leave it so, shall we?