Last spring, we had a little problem with raccoons. Or rather, a big problem with little raccoons. Baby raccoons.
For some reason, they were drawn to our backyard. Probably grub worms and soft dirt.
They were tiny enough to slip through the wrought iron fence. Momma was not.
Because we live on acreage, we have no window coverings. Our windows are about 6 inches off the ground and go all the way to the ceiling.
That little bit of information should tell you that the dogs can lay on the floor with their heads propped in the windowsills.
Can you see where this is going?
On nights when the moon was particularly bright, the dogs could see outdoors quite clearly.
Quiet, sleepy dogs would come alive with all manner of screeching and yelping in the blink of an eye. They cared nothing about the clock or sleeping humans.
Night after night I'd threaten to kill raccoons and dogs.
After I trapped and relocated both babies to suitable locations, we had no more problems. I thought mom had moved on. We saw no sign of her all summer, fall and winter. I saw squirrels coming and going from her former cubby hole in the tree.
Special note: I don't advocate relocating wildlife. It rarely, if ever, works out for the animal. They don't know where food or shelter is. Because I spent several years working as a rehabber with a wildlife rescue organization, I know the finer details of relocation---what to look for, what to provide in the interim as far as food, what time of day to release, etc.
Two nights ago, I saw a raccoon on the property again. It was nowhere near last years location (much further away), so I just figured it lived on someone else's property. As I was walking with my camera today, I decided to do something I do every year. We have a tree with a rather large hole in it. The hole is only about 5 ft. off the ground. I set my point-and-shoot camera on its macro setting, put my camera in the hole and pushed the button. In 9 years, there has never been anything but leaves and ants in the hole. Not this year! I couldn't believe my eyes when I reviewed the picture on the playback and saw a raccoon looking back at me. When I got home, I uploaded the picture and discovered additional tiny faces in the picture. All the signs (eyes closed, ears barely open, slightly furry), say they are about a week old.
Luckily for my sleep and for the baby raccoon's home range, I think I might be in the clear as far as nighttime visitors this spring.
Did I just say that outloud?
Update: Dog-gone-it!! I went to have another look this evening and she's moved! All four babies. Poor thing probably spent half the night relocating them. At least her momma-senses told her that her hiding spot was no longer safe.