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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bandits caught red-handed in my backyard!

The morning started typically with Buddy, my faithful watchdog and part-time footwarmer waking up first, stretching, and standing up at the foot of the bed to gaze out the window. His sudden and continuous growl made me look to see what he had spotted.

There they were! Bandits! Caught in the act, eating my figs!

The bush was loaded with figs, just ripening up, and a Momma Raccoon with her three kits were helping themselves!

Faster than you can say, "GO GIT'EM BOY!" I swung out of bed, fumbled into some clothes and hunted for my shoes...Buddy patiently waited while I gathered myself together.

Without opposable thumbs, he's still unable to figure out how to turn a doorknob...that's my job. But eventually, I got the door opened, and out he went like a flash, barking to beat the band.

Momma Raccoon, the ring-tailed ringleader, was already out of there at first sign that the jig was up, I caught a glimpse of her with one of her kits, ducking down into the undergrowth of the Waccamaw River swamp on the edge of the yard, with Buddy in hot pursuit. To my surprise, when Buddy dove into the underbrush, a second kit sprinted towards the same brush right behind him.

For a moment, there was just sounds of underbrush getting trampled but eventually Buddy emerged, with a look of satisfaction, he fended off marauder's from his domain, unaware that a third kit was still up in the fig bush, wisely staying above the fray.

Back in the house, I grabbed a colander, and went back to pick some figs for myself. By then the kit was long gone, escaping to the woods to join Momma Raccoon and his siblings.


Kymber said...

BAHAHAHA - what a cute picture!

i feel the need to share a "raccoon" experience that we had a few years ago. at the back-end of our basement was a set of stairs and a door to the backyard - the door came out in what looked like a little shed in our yard. it was perfect for our two cats to come in and out at their pleasure and so we installed a little cat door in it. one night - at about 2am - we are woken by our two cats at the end of our bed growling and growling. and the screeching of a baby raccoon out in the hallway on the third level of a shelf-stand that he apparently got up on but couldn't get down. and then there was also the screeching of 2 more baby raccoons on the stairs. we jumped out of bed and helped the baby get off the shelf - he immediately ran down the stairs with his brothers and by the time we got downstairs and in the kitchen - there was a Momma and 6 babies running around trying to get out.

they had traveled down the stairs and through the cat door of the shed, then through the entire length of the basement, up another flight of stairs to the kitchen and some of them made it up another flight of stairs to our second floor!!! we opened up the back door and scurried all of them out and then looked around at the mess!!! they had dumped the kitty litter box all over the floor, then dumped 2 bowls of water in the kitty litter, the majority of the kitchen cupboards were opened and there were dirty little paw prints all over everything! not to mention all of the food that they got into and destroyed!

and worse - they came back the next night and the next!!!! the mess they made was hysterical!!! i realized that they were going to keep coming back unless i did something. that's when i started the "raccoon buffet" - i gathered all of our food scraps throughout the day and put them on a large platter and put the platter out in the yard every night.

Momma and babies came back every single night at the same time and ate their buffet. and never came back in the house again - thank goodness!

sorry this took so long but reading of your "raccoon" incident made me remember mine! and i got a nice giggle out of your post and my memories - thanks!

(p.s. - i really like the way you write and tell stories!)

KI4HEE said...

Thanks for the kind comments, and I "feel your pain" at the mess they cause. I can't keep a bag of trash in the back of the pick-up without it being ransacked. If it's not the figs, it's the pears, or even worse, my grapes that get harvested by these "lil'boogers".

Kymber said...

ya - you gotta contrive some kind of fence around your pears and figs....ugh - i love pears and figs...i can't believe that you can grow your own...oh man i want to move to South Carolina!!!

KI4HEE said...

I've got a shocker wire that goes around the grape arbor but theres not much you can do with the fig bush and the pear trees...too accessable.

BTW, I added another photo of the picked figs...just as an inducement for you to move south.

Anonymous said...

Not the Raccoons! Nothing a .22 or 12 gauge couldn't fix :D

Kentucky Preppers Network

Kymber said...

THAT'S IT!!! THAT colander of ginormic figs has made my decision pretty easy - I AM MOVING TO SOUTH CAROLINA!!!

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