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creatures

July 5, 2009

2 creature stories from yesterday:

1.  We’ve been finding dead rodents around our house (be thankful I decided not to photo journal this one).  This morning, we found a dead chipmunk on the walkway up to the house – the third such creature we’ve found this week.  I still shrieked.  There’s no getting used to unexpectedly finding dead rodents.

Anyways, we’ve narrowed it down to one of three things:

  1. The ghost of the man that used to live in our house is very angry that we’ve ripped down his floral wallpaper and painted over his dark oak paneling.  He’s killing small rodents and leaving them everywhere as a message to us.
  2. A chupacabra.  I have no clue what this is, Jason suggested it.  After a google image search, it appears that this is haunting my gardens: (from American Dinosaur)
  3. Probably the most logical of the three: the black cat that we’ve seen wandering around just started killing.  It seems strange that we’ve only had killings this week, and not the previous 3, though.  What’s going on there?

(I just want to note that we do not suspect Barley Dogg of such activities, even though he’s caught a mouse before – primarily because he’s been stalking the chipmunk that lives under the deck for the past month with no luck.  Sorry, Barley, I just don’t think you’re fast enough.)

2.  A story!  About raccoons!  With pictures!  Here it is:

Jason: What IS that?

Jen: Huh?

Jason: That THING up there, on the pole barn.  Is that a possum?  Or a raccoon?

Jen: I dunno.  I can’t see anything (aside: because I am a little nearsighted and refuse to wear glasses or contacts.  It makes perfect sense.).  We should go look.

Jen and Jason walk towards the pole barn.

Jen: Are they going to get me?  Raccoons are crazy.  I think they’re raccoons.

Jason (rounding the back of the pole barn):  I think you’re okay.

Jen: But they’re scary crazy, raccoons.  (Holding camera with zoom up to eye, checks roof and sees raccoon) OHHH!  He’s so cute!  Aww!  Hey little buddy!

Jen: Oh, look!  He’s going back in his home!  Wait.  There’s a HOLE in the side of that thing?  Has it always been there?

Jason: Yeah.  I told you it was there a while ago.

Jen: OH.  That sucks.  Oh, hey!  He’s got a friend!  Hey cutie cute little raccoons!  You are so sweet!  Aww… they’re kissing!  How cute!  They love each other!  I love them.  Look how sweet they are!

Jen: Barley – Look!  Look at those raccoon guys!  Aren’t they cute?  Don’t you want to be their friend?

Jason: I need a BB gun.

Jen: You’ll shoot your eye out!

Jason (picks up stone and throws it towards the ‘coons)

Jen: What are you doing?

Jason: I’m going to get them.  (Stone misses wildly) The stone is awkwardly-shaped – I can’t control it’s trajectory through the air.  I guess I need something smoothly shaped.  Like BBs.

Jen: What?  What happens when you hit one of them?  It’s just going to get mad and come down here and jump on your face.

Jason: No.  I might get it in the head and stun it.  (Stone misses wildly) The stone is awkwardly-shaped – I can’t control it’s trajectory through the air.  I guess I need something smoothly shaped.  Like BBs.

Jen: Yeah, right.  Ha.  So, when you hit one of these guys and it rolls down the roof at us, then what?

Jason: I dunno.  Maybe I’ll just get them comfortable with us being out here, and then I’ll get a BB gun and go after them.  Do you know what great aim I’d have from here?

Jen: But thery’re so cute!  I mean, I know they’re nasty, but they’re so cute!  I thought BB guns didn’t kill things anyways.

Jason: No, but if I get it through the eye, then it might.

Jen: Yuck.  You know, if the neighbors could hear us now, they’d probably know we weren’t really in tune with this living-in-the-country business.

Jason: And that’s why it’s a good thing they’re far away.

And that’s when I noticed that there were three of them (or maybe even more).  So I guess they’re going to get their eviction notice soon.  Jason has formally added “BB Gun” to his Christmas list.

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. Debbie permalink
    July 5, 2009 9:56 am

    I just realizes I’m not ready to visit you in the country!!!!!!!!!!!
    Jen, I always thought you were so sensible; raccoons are NOT CUTE.

  2. Amy permalink
    July 5, 2009 10:59 am

    There used to be serious raccoon fights outside of our old condo (by the ponds) late at night. They were scary, scary, scary.

    Also, an animal expert friend once told us that if you see a raccoon out during the day, it’s probably rabid. (This probably doesn’t apply to your “cuddly” guys since they’re obviously in their raccoon home, but just FYI.)

  3. aunt tami permalink
    July 5, 2009 2:21 pm

    Ok, so you guys were wondering if your future children might miss something not growing up in the ‘burbs, echoing your own good childhoods (I must admit I had the same misgivings). You are already discovering the infinite joys of “country”living. Your future children will learn many important things that city kids never have the opportunity to learn…for example:

    -How many toilet flushes are available after the power goes out. (important, but not real interesting)
    -How to remove a bat from the back hall (important AND scary if you don’t want him using your head for a landing strip)
    -How to remove a skunk from a basement window well (humorous and important if you EVER want to go in the basement again)
    -How to remove a red squirrel from the kitchen cabinets (VERY important if you value the structural part of your house. Also VERY. VERY. VERY. humorous when it also involves a husband, a dog and a pair of old pajamas.)
    -And how to decide when it it time to “cry uncle” and just take down the gazebo that has turned into dinner for the (large, mean) neighborhood woodchuck (those puppies can find their way back TO your house even when relocated great distances FROM your house).

    They might not have multitudes of neighbor kids to play with, but they will get to know salamanders, snakes, mice, frogs, chipmunks, deer and birds galore. The best part of this deal is that you are never left having to find someone to take care of all these “pets” when you pack up the family and head out of town. AND if you have coyotes in the area, it adds a certain “excitement” to playing outside late at night (as you found out at our house) that you would NEVER find in a mundane suburban neighborhood game of Kick The Can. They will find out that while wild raspberries are green when they are “green”, wild blackberries are RED when they are “green” and BLACK when they are “red”, and they will find out that being locked out of the house after school is not as bad when food is readily available in the yard. And that ropes in trees can be just as cool as the ultimate “Rainbow Brand” swing set you find in many suburban back yards.

    Good luck with those raccoons. You could have worse neighbors! 🙂

  4. Debbie permalink
    July 5, 2009 3:47 pm

    Davey Crockett had his coonskin cap: maybe you can end up with a whole collection/sizes. However, I don’t think a Red Ryder double action BB gun will be powerful enough; get yourself a Clint Eastwood .357 magnum and tell the ‘coons: “Go ahead make my day.”

    Note to viewers: Debbie didn’t write this; I was too lazy to go to my own account.

    Dad/Jim

  5. Debbie permalink
    July 5, 2009 7:59 pm

    Okay- Aunt Tami has me even more scared now!

  6. mom permalink
    July 5, 2009 11:23 pm

    There is a very nice staybridge suites hotel in Kzoo. Large hot breakfast, light dinner/snacks and free soda machine all day included! After the bones we found in the woods on my visit, I will be making camp in a suite instead!

  7. aunt tami permalink
    July 6, 2009 10:04 am

    Davey Crockett, Annie Oakley and Old Yeller, I can see it now…trade in the Toyota for a covered wagon and you are all set!

    Amy is right, raccoons sound awful when they get together. Doug growled at one though the screen and it hissed back. I don’t know how you get rid of them, but I’m sure they could be destructive and maybe aggressive. Good luck.

    Debbie, I’d still plan on visiting, just think of it as a free trip to the zoo.

  8. July 6, 2009 10:44 am

    Didn’t Disney create a whole theme park around wild animals? Don’t they charge for the “tour”? and if I recall you can sleep with some of the animals….
    Here is the opening for the POS plow truck:
    Cut the “wilderness path in the woods” (You’ll need a chainsaw and a possibly a stump grinder)
    Get the truck (has to have the “classical ambiance”— a blazer from the 70’s or early 80’s could work here as you need the top off and a rear seat for paying customers) http://www.geocities.com/hellraiser_1_0/yellblazer5.jpg
    Don’t inslulate the pole barn— ACRYLIC SHEET ROCK! So your “over night” guests can see the animals crawling in the roof and walls.

    You’ll possibly need a Ticket booth out front and parking is always an additional revenue source (may have to add some asphalt– lime stone and traffic bond would work also and be a bit cheaper).

    OR stop over in Jackson and talk to Ted Nugent and see the set up he has, not really a wild life refuge but then you can get something “bigger” than the red rider BB Gun.

    • Aunt Tami permalink
      July 7, 2009 11:04 am

      Yep, I’m thinking that you can both quit your day jobs with this plan. Sign me up for 2 nights (if there is a family discount).

  9. Unk B permalink
    July 7, 2009 8:09 am

    You supply the beer, I’ll supply the guns. We can sit in the back of my truck (after putting it up on blocks) and wait for them critters to pop out and then “BLAMOO”!!!! Coon makes a real tasty stew.

    • Aunt Tami permalink
      July 7, 2009 11:01 am

      Unk B can make the coon stew, I will bring the fried squirrel dumplings with collard greens and Jennifer (AKA Annie Oakley) can make the blackberry buckle. With Jason’s beer and all those vittles, it’ll be REAL GOOD EATIN’. I will personally wear my best flannel shirt. Now, who knows how to play the fiddle.

      • Unk B permalink
        July 8, 2009 10:30 am

        According to Ashley, boyfriend Kyle plays a mean “air fiddle”. Check it out on Facebook.

  10. July 14, 2009 10:33 pm

    I’d highly recommend getting a used .22 rifle instead of a BB gun. They are cheap, and they’ll actually kill something when you shoot them rather than just make them angry and want to give you, your family, and your dog rabies 🙂

  11. July 15, 2009 12:32 am

    http://www.mi.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10363_10880-31600–,00.html

    Might want to check this out first.

    We have raccoons on our property. They generally come out in the evening but if they are born in an area where there are people you will see them anytime of the day. They tend to be nosy.

    Make sure your chimneys have spark guards on them so that the raccoons can’t climb down your chimney. They can open your dampener and get into your house. Also their feces is just about the grossest smelling stuff you will ever smell.

    Most of the time if you remove their home, they will go away. You have plenty of woods so they won’t be homeless.

    Also you may want to remove the BB gun part from your post. Would hate for the DNR to read something they shouldn’t. Also you don’t want your dog to get hurt if it tangles with a coon. And whatever you do….don’t feed them. They are master beggers, same goes for the squirrels. They will start ringing your doorbell wanting food. LOL

    Welcome to the country!!!!

    • jen permalink
      July 22, 2009 9:16 am

      Thanks for the link, Jan!!

      Fortunately, I think we may be out of the woods on this one (figuratively, of course)… we haven’t seen our little raccoon friends in a while. I continue to suggest that Jason climb up on the roof to see if they’re really gone (and repair the damage they did), but he continues to refuse…

  12. July 15, 2009 10:17 pm

    Kill the ‘coons. Bump the bb gun up to a .22 as mentioned above and get rid of them before they do more damage. We’ve lost close to 30 chickens in the past 3 weeks from raccoons. The fence is now wired to electrocute them when they come visiting.

  13. July 22, 2009 11:10 am

    I would say get a professional to get the raccoons out if they are still there (in a humane way, like a trap) and then have them fix wherever they got in, in the first place so they don’t just come back…they can be pretty viscious though, so definitely call a professional! Good luck!

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