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?
Come get your numnums, kids
Ah, the holidays.
A time when families gather.
Or at least Hecate’s family gathers.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen the whole family together.
Cause for celebration, this. There are idiots…I mean, hunters…in the woods. The Old Ones come nightly for shelter. When we don’t see one for a while, we wonder.
The Ways of The Wild are not our ways. If we are to survive, we must adapt, not they. They evolve along ancient patterns and lines.
Not so us. If we still evolve, it is to strengthen our thumbs for TXTing, perhaps.
But here, all are safe.
Would that that be the case for all souls this holiday.
That is our wish.
And even though some are hunted, The Old Ones tell us it is their wish for us, as well.
Child-Rearing in The Wild
They grow. They make friends. They borrow the car keys, see you later can I have them, please?
Child-rearing in The Wild is fascinating. Whichever parent takes on the task will defend their children to the death. But once a child is old enough to fend for itself? It’s a competitor for whatever resources are available.
If there’s enough, child and parent tolerate each other. If not, somebody eats, somebody goes hungry.
There are exceptions, of course. Socially gregarious animals – those who live in herds or packs or communities of some kind – care for each other throughout their lives. If you ever want your heart ripped from you, watch a mother elephant stay with her dying calf until it passes.
I’m crying just with the memories.
Here we had siblings gather for dinner. No mom around. Perhaps, raccoons being how they are, she was glad to have the den to herself.
Peace in small, furry packages
Say hello to The Bobbsey Twins, two of Hecate‘s kits.
Hecate we haven’t seen in a while.
Nor her kits, singly or in groups, we don’t see often.
These two are often together, siblings still willing to sib.
We’ve wondered what’s become of all the raccoons. Fewer now than usual for this time of year.
Could be the increase in predators – wolf, coyote, bobcat, hawk, eagle, bear, fox.
It is hunting season here. We do not like hunters.
Allow me a correction; hunters who hunt to eat, fine. Go for it. More power to you.
Hunters who hunt because ooga-chaga-ooga-chaga me big man hunter?
Most wildlife – indeed, most people – know our land is safe. We keep watch when the wildlife is here.
We are trusted. We are safe.
There is peace with us.
Probably because we learned to be with. Without them, we can not be us. Balance. In all things.