I have been trying to get up early. Is 3:15 a.m. early enough? Something roused me from what I am sure was a wonderful dream. As the fogginess cleared I recognized the noises. The Dog was in his crate whining and a scratching noise was coming from the back porch. I nudged The Man awake.
"The raccoon is back."
Earlier this summer we had a family of coons visiting our screened-in back porch (obviously not screened-in enough) and swiping some dog food out of the plastic trash bin we stored it in. Scratch, scratch, scratch, whump...scratch, scratch, scratch, whump...That is the sound of a mama raccoon sitting on top of the trash can, lifting up the lid (while she is sitting on it), retrieving some dog food, releasing the lid, then doing it all over again. We moved the trash can into the living room (lovely) for a month or so. I finally went a bought a can that had handles that lock over the lid. We inserted a stick through the handles so the lid can't come off until the stick releases the handles.
We were hoping this would be too much for the raccoon to do on its own, but still simple enough to allow Sacagawea to feed the Dog. The stick was removed from the handles this morning, but the lid was still closed. With the Dog on alert, I think we caught the raccoon in time. This raccoon was by itself so we think it was one of the young coons that visited with its mother earlier in the summer.
The Man shooed it off the porch with the help of the spotlight and a few pine cones. I was just dozing off back to sleep when the sounds returned.
This time I grabbed the camera. After it left the porch the second time, I snapped a few pictures.
If you stare really hard at the center of this picture, you can see the masked bandit. It was sitting on the hill outside our bedroom window. The Man was shining the spotlight on it, but the lighting wasn't the best to get a good picture.
Here is one I took with the flash. Look at those beady eyes.
The man brought the trash can back inside. The raccoon did return as we were dozing off again, but we just ignored it and it did go away.
The Man asked if I recognized that noise.
"Yes. That is the smoke detector letting us know the battery needs to be replaced."
So, The Man rose once again to silence the smoke detector. We didn't even have a chance to try to doze off again before my alarm went off at 5:15. I turned it off and we slept for 45 minutes before really getting up to start our day.
If anyone asks about the dark circles under our eyes today, we'll just blame the raccoon.
p.s. The hawks are back. Another hen was killed on Sunday. The chickens have been penned up since then.