Last month I had to clean the fishpond, something I try to resist doing every year. The pond is small but it's hard to get into and clean because it's surrounded on three sides by the deck. I scoop what I can but eventually I have to jump in all that muck and bail out the water and sticks (and I'm not going to think about what else) while standing in it. Eeeugh. Eeeugh. Eeeugh. Luckily it doesn't take that long and usually Eddie is outside coaching me with wolf whistles and "Pretty!!!!!!!"s. That stuff at the bottom of the pond is noncompostable though, as well as being heavy and wet, so I filled a garbage bag with the stuff and left it open to dry before setting it out for the trash later in the week.
Violet and I like to sit out on the deck at night and watch the fireflies and listen to the cicadas. We were sitting outdoors enjoying the night when I saw some movement in the middle of the yard...where that stinky bag was sitting out. My eyes got used to the darkness out there and I counted four raccoons (four!) very carefully open the bag and reach in to see what smelled so fish-stinky good. They surprisingly did not leave a mess. I probably would never have known a raccoon (let alone four!) had even been there if I had not seen them up to their sneaky business that night.
The next night Violet and I were sitting on the deck doing the same thing, enjoying fireflies and cicadas, when I heard a tiny little unusual sound coming from the fence by the driveway. I looked up and saw the silhouette of one momma raccoon being followed by 3-4 baby raccoons along the top of the fence. They got to the garage, climbed to the roof and then they were over the peak and then...gone.
But they came back. I can tell. The turtles' water dish and the containers that hold my aquatic plants are always muddy in the morning. I thought it was from what seems like the near constant rain we have been having but about a week ago, I looked out the back window and saw four baby raccoons playing pattycake in Violet's waterdish (which I forgot to bring in). So now that I know the raccoons and their raccoonettes are back, it's time to stock up on grapes and reopen the coontina.
My first blurry customer...
The scamps. Who knows what kind of stories will be written about the naughty visitors (which I think is a good descriptive word for when raccoons are being good!). This summer has had a theme of bold, assertive, non-apologetic behavior from the animals I have been crossing paths with and I now have to wonder, why should my two new little goldfish be any different?
Here is a picture of the two goldfish after I put them in their new pond. They set right to work to building up their muscles by swimming "upstream" where the water is coming out from the pump. It's a strong pump. It's also a forceful waterfall. Those two fish swam with such earnestness to stay in place. And then at some point they would just let go and get blasted across to the other side of the pond. But then... they would swim right back up to where that waterfall was coming down so they could do it again and again. I checked on them pretty often during that first day and night and those two were at that game for a solid 24 hours.
They came home in a plastic bag with a warning on it (about flammability of all things) but still, it's a bag with a warning. I'm on alert.