Monday, July 12, 2021

On the Warpath

You all know I pretty much try to get along with all the wild things here. 

Last week, one night, I was sitting on the porch listening to music and just watching the yard, when a raccoon crept up... saw me... came all the way up to me and smelled my foot, and then calmly began to eat cat food from the bowl I keep on the porch.  

I talked to it gently as it ate. 

About ten minutes later, a second raccoon came from the east side, up the steps, trundled across the porch, and stumbled into my foot ... smelled it, and actually got scared, turned around, and ran back down the steps and under the deck.  

I tell you this for a reason. 


I keep a bucket full of water right outside the door of the little hen house.  It holds the door 
open during the day.  It also provides some strength against anything trying to open it at night. 
Do you see the piece of wood?  It sits in two brackets at night.  I had Ben mount it, because two 
years ago, a raccoon got into the door at night and killed some birds.  The door is a flimsy metal door, 
and the storm window broke long ago.  I thought I had someone lined up to put a wooden door on there, but he decided it was "too much trouble to cut the door down".  Ben put heavy plastic over the door last winter and the birds did fine. 

Anyway, I always put the wooden beam in the brackets at night and the water bucket against the door. The pophole, to the right, has a bracket against it, I don't even use it now. 

This morning, I found the bucket overturned... and

the outside water bowl was filthy. 

This pen is only four feet high.... it has a flimsy garden covering across the outside, to keep the little birds in... and a tarp over half of it for shade.  It was very evident the raccoons had been in it. 

These guys. 

This guy. (The one who calmly smelled me and ate) 

These twins, here, at the basin on the deck. 

I have only one hanging feeder left, I stupidly forgot to bring 
it in last Wednesday... went out Thursday, and it was GONE, I could not 
find it.  Ditto, a suet feeder. 

I had spares of both, but I priced the small feeder I use, and it had gone from 
8.99 to 12.99, wow... in about six months. 

I am bringing them in nightly now. 
I also am not leaving food on the deck at night for the cats, they have to eat during the day. 

Twice, the raccoons got into my big can of Back Yard Blend.  It is the most expensive feed that I buy, and now that lid is bungeed down all the time. 

This morning, Rusty the feral met me on the deck... he was ready for breakfast. 
I got him a container of wet food, and for once, he ate all of it... and then gave him some dry. 
There is food in the old garage for them daily, and food on the deck, and then... food in the shop, the small barn... I just checked it and someone is eating it, and it looks like a cat, because raccoons would eat all of it at once and make a mess. 

I believe Wanda, because I have found her in there three times, and I hope, Cleo. 

This Cleo, here, pictured on deck Saturday night.  The other feral I am 
seeing frequently is a yellow tabby.  It is an older kitten, I think, because I have 
gotten a good look at it twice. 

My feeling is that if all these cats are getting at least one square meal a day, they can survive. 

The little house through the fence dividing the yard, the other night. 

We had a storm Friday night and I lost half of the green apple tree. 
There were maybe three apples on it... it has a rust infection terribly. 
I actually was thinking of having it and the tree next to it taken down, 
the apples can be made into sauce, but otherwise, are not good eating. 
I hate to cut trees down, but they are heck to cut around. 

The deck flowers are looking so good. 

The Smiling M lambs are growing big and strong.  They still get a snack a day, so I can look at them. 

I made a flying trip to Garnett last week and got to see my little great-granddaughter Aurora for thirty minutes.  I wish they were closer, but that's life. 

These are the birds I do not want the raccoons to get... the seven new pullets, and the silkies. 
The three mama silkies are still in the brooder pen in the big hen house, and will be there with their lone chick for a few more weeks. 

And yes, that little tiny brown ball on the left is Iris, the tiniest hen. 

The pullets are bred for egg laying, so I will be cleaning out the nest boxes tomorrow... the eldest one, the dark red... is beginning to lay pullet sized eggs now.  They all roost up high on the roosts, unlike the silkies. 

For those of you who are local to the KC area, 
The National Agricultural Center (Ag Hall of Fame) in 
Bonner Springs has a wonderful new exhibit about the Dust Bowl and depression and how farmers were affected.  I highly recommend it. 

Come on Saturday, so we can visit! 

(That looks similar to our Island Creek Schoolhouse).