Two days ago, Rick went into the crawl space of the basement to grab wood to build more vegetable garden boxes, and came across a nest of 4 baby raccoons! They were newly born, eyes closed, cute as ever with their mask-markings already in place. The teen mother was partially hidden in the rafters, amid the torn up insulation she used for her nest, staring at us.
I am not sure who was more frightened, the raccoon teen-mamma or me. Everyone knows how vicious a wild animal can be in protecting her young. Rick called the Ocean Shores Animal Wildlife and Rescue Service. We will have the baby raccoons professionally removed from our crawl space. Later this week, a team from the rescue service will first fix the vents the mother busted through, and then the team will remove the babies. I would not want their job! They are required to place the babies somewhere on our property, where their mother can find them. Rick suggested putting the babies under the Row to Canada dory, the Rowing Smitty. The team then will place the baby raccoons under the dory, which is outside, turned upside down, a perfect shelter from the ceaseless rains. Then the team will come back to see if the mother has abandoned her babies or if she has resumed taking care of them. If she abandons them, the team will take the babies and nurse them until they are old enough to be set free in the wild.
What an ordeal! Readers: Creature Proof Your Home!
Total cost for all of this? ….well over $300 for “appraisal, removal, vent repair, and follow up investigation”! Go rescue team! I hate to say this, but I know what my dad would have done (need I say more??)….and I am proud that I am married to a man who thinks like I do and not like my father. We will do everything in our power to relocate the budding family. It’s expensive and I know raccoons can be a nuisance, but we couldn’t do it any other way. We didn’t get a photo of the adorable babies for fear the mother would tear the cameras out of our hands.
On a totally different subject, I got to thinking that if you are an avid reader of my blog, you may be left wondering about some events, people, or various stories I mention and don’t necessarily swing back to in my writing. The remainder of this entry is really a “follow up” blog post.
From What’s up? blog entry: Rick’s foot is better! He is about to take the last of his second round of antibiotics and he is confident the infection will not come back. And, of course he is feeling better. We went shopping for Steel Toe Boots, which he will start wearing whenever he is doing heavy work around the property. And Rick just received The Starfish Award for outstanding volunteerism in 2012! I took this photo of Rick holding his award:
I am so proud of him! He won this award because of his work with last year’s Row to Canada ALS fundraiser. On an 11-day row from Washington to Canada, Rick and his crew raised over $8,000 for the ALS Association.
And on 6/6 at 6 p.m. at the Seattle Art Museum, Rick’s students will present a short film, Rowing Smitty, based on a longer documentary they are producing about the Row to Canada fundraiser. The event, SHOWCASE, is FREE and if you live in the Seattle area, it is an event not to be missed. It is put on by Seattle Central Community College Film and Video Program and is presented by Rick’s LAST graduating class (sadly, this incredible program is being CUT out completely due to state budget cuts).
From Pre-Fusion Yoga blog entry: Jan Dahl is back home in Eastern Washington after having her collapsed spine fused together. It was an extremely complicated surgery and Jan survived one complication after another. I went to visit her shortly after her second surgery and I was amazed by her spirit and deeply moved by her supportive husband, Vincent, who rarely left her side. I am happy to report that Jan is recovering and feeling better. She has even started going to yoga classes at her local yoga studio again! She is forever grateful for all the love, prayers, and light that family and friends sent her way. She firmly believes that the many prayers and well wishes are what helped her survive the surgery, the many complications, and recovery.
From Chickens blog entry: I wrote this post two years ago, and for the past two years, the condo owners in my building have never stopped muttering about the neighbor’s chickens. Their greatest fears doubled when our neighbor took on one more chicken, bringing the total to 3! I am all for urban chickens and urban farming, but it appears that the chicken man didn’t provide a safe haven for his chickens. More than once, I would come back home from teaching and see my neighbor’s chickens strutting their stuff on the street and dodging cars! Since I often fed them lettuce and other vegetables, they trusted me to pick them up and place them back in their yard. I was always amazed at how light they were. Yes, I used the word “were” in the past tense because the worst thing happened to the chickens. A raccoon got into their makeshift flimsy hen-house and ate every single one of them! Those poor chickens deserved so much better! Rick witnessed one such event and reported the gruesome details of the chickens’ demise. A few days later, I ran across the chicken man and asked him how he was doing, thinking how depressed he surely must be over about the raccoon attack. He seemed to be over the loss of his chickens and was already very excited about his newest adventure: he is moving to Thailand to rock climb his life away and he seemed to be relieved to not have to find a home for his chickens.