Readers’ wildlife photos

I was busy this a.m. so this post is late, and oy! does it hurt typing with my mallet finger. More PT is needed!

Three days ago I posted some raccoon photos by reader Diane G, and she has an update (indented); it’s a bit sad as the “Fab Five” seem to have lost their mom. Note: I’m told that Diane should put out a big bowl of dry cat food and another huge bowl of water (for food washing) to keep the babies nourished.

What Happens When I Forget to Take The Feeders Inside, or, Further Adventures of the Fab Five

Around 10 PM last night I remember I’ve forgotten to take the feeders in, so out I run. Too late! Our mischievous quintet hasn’t missed their chance. In this shot four of the crew have retreated to the top of the pole, while # 5–I think we’ll call him Louis II–can’t really be bothered.  It almost looks like the topmost kit is extending a paw to the slowest climber.

In pic 2 that little guy has almost made the top, whilst Louis II analyzes the situation, decides I’m not much of a threat, and lets his mind wander back to the goodies below.

Priorities are priorities.

Must you keep flashing that light at me?!

Taking their cue from Louis II, the sibs also begin to remember the repast below…

Cute as they are, I really want them to abscond so I can rescue the feeders and take the dogs out.  I wave my hands and speak sternly but nothing happens.  I retreat to the garage and grab my late husband’s golf-ball retriever, as it extends into a fairly long pole, return to the feeder post, and give it a few whacks here and there.  This only serves to frighten them, at which point I give up.  Only after several subsequent check-ups do I find they’ve finally moved on…

Sadly, my neighbor and I are pretty sure they’re orphans. There’s no mother around as far as we can tell. The babes exhibit all the innocent curiosity of so many wild toddlers without any of the caution their mother would instill in them. They’re becoming far too obvious; the afternoon before these shots were taken I’d seen them traipsing across my front lawn in broad daylight. In the early evening as I drove home from shopping I found them right in the middle of the gravel road, and had to slow down while they retreated.  I’m afraid their survival chances are poor, and it’s very hard to accept that that’s how nature happens sometimes, but there’s really nothing we can do to intervene.

Wish them luck! 😦


  1. Posted June 8, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Ha! Good ones! Those little rascals are hard to keep off the feeders. We did figure out a methods where they couldn’t get to a spot where they could knock out the seeds from the feeders. This bunch seems more persistent and willing to just eat from the openings.

  2. Randy schenck
    Posted June 8, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    You have a tough situation there but, depending on the age of the children, they may be able to do okay. As far as your feeders go, I can only recommend taking them in at night as far as you can. The young ones may not be able to do much damage but moms and dads sure can.

  3. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted June 8, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Not sure what to advise. Leaving out food? You would be letting your dog out on a leash a lot, and they would hang around a lot and maybe not all move away. Ever.
    Maybe trapping them and moving them well away? But they seem young and could use some help.

  4. rickflick
    Posted June 8, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    My approach would be to feed them until they can fend for themselves. I suspect they will wander away once they’ve matured. Good luck.

  5. Mark R.
    Posted June 8, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    What cuties! As others have cautioned, I don’t know about feeding them…if you do, maybe you could put the food away from your house…outside a fence? Don’t know your layout. I hope they make it.

  6. Heather Hastie
    Posted June 8, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    They’re so cute. I have absolutely no idea what to do, but I’m enjoying the pics immensely!

  7. Leslie
    Posted June 8, 2017 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t there a wildlife rehabilitator in your area?

  8. Merilee
    Posted June 8, 2017 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful shots and stories, Diane. Poor LouisI and his young sis…

  9. nicky
    Posted June 8, 2017 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Some we love, some we hate and some we eat.
    Are there raccoon recipies? 😲😨

    • Posted June 8, 2017 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      Please don’t joke about eating these animals!

    • rickflick
      Posted June 8, 2017 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      Mosly in the deep South I’d guess.

  10. barn owl
    Posted June 8, 2017 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    If you’re planning to help out the raccoons by feeding them, I’d recommend making sure that they don’t have access to your roof. Raccoons will use a particular roof habitually as a latrine, and depending on the slope and layout of the roof, the piles of poo can get quite large. Some fecal-borne raccoon diseases, including roundworms, are transmissible to dogs, and to humans, for that matter.

  11. Richard
    Posted June 9, 2017 at 2:32 am | Permalink

    “Mallet finger”? Yesterday I whacked the end of my right second finger with an actual mallet whilst doing some carpentry. Very painful. It is now swollen and turning a nice blue-black colour.

    So I sympathize. 😦

  12. Diane G.
    Posted June 9, 2017 at 2:58 am | Permalink

    Hi all,

    I was busy all day and apologize for the late response! Thank you to everyone who commented. I appreciate the advice and especially the cautionary tales (roof latrines? Arrgh!). 😀

    (Over the years I have had my share of raccoon nuisances. One year they were fascinated with my water gardens (duh–raccoons, water…), knocking over the plants and muddying up the water every night…)

    I’ve sent a follow-up message to Jerry with a few more pics–I promise I won’t keep this up!–in which I also respond to some of the questions raised here. Thanks again for the input, it’s greatly appreciated!

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