Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Shady" Strikes Again

We apparently have a raccoon thoroughfare running from the front fence to the back fence in our yard. We live a block and a half from the Columbia River and over the years we've sighted many different critters but rarely do we have them in our backyard. Two summers ago some skunks took up residence under our shed. The addition of a dog to our household has thankfully discouraged their return. (The cats were getting a little too curious about them.) Since then, all the wildlife we've seen has been around the river: bald eagles, ducks, hawks, coots, billions of seagulls, beavers, otters, skunks, raccoons, salmon (usually the spawned kind, red and decomposing on the beach), even two coyotes in one day about a month ago.

This winter one or more raccoons have decided they like our yard (I guess they haven't been introduced to the dog or cats yet) and now they use it to get to a large stand of evergreen trees in the yard behind ours. One night one of the raccoons (Shady, perhaps?) came up onto our back deck and peered through the sliding glass door. I wouldn't have known it was there except that it scratched on the glass, just like our other animals do. We certainly startled each other when I went to the door to see who wanted in.

Today Shady (as my kids have named him) sauntered through the yard in broad daylight. Here he is:

And here are his tracks:

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