Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Lakeside living has been like a wildlife safari lately.

After walking in the door one afternoon, I looked toward the lake and saw something in the yard that seemed out of place. When I looked out again, I saw a very large raccoon standing there with an arched back, looking like it was in attack mode. I ran to grab my camera, and in seconds the raccoon had disappeared from view. Of course my first thoughts were that it was a rabid raccoon, arched back, Snidely Whiplash face, visible in the mid-afternoon. After a search on raccoon behavior, I learned that it is normal for them to come out during the day at this time of year in search of food for their young. So even though rabies likely isn’t an issue, I still don’t plan much gardening activity in that area of the lawn for a while.

Another day there was a deer near the water (look at its sweet face in this picture below).

A couple days later, there were 2 different deer whose intentions were obvious…get water and get out. I guess I’ve hit on a good mix of plants that they don’t like to eat in the garden beds since they always head to the water and then leave after quenching their thirst. We’ll see if that holds up when the vegetable plants get bigger.

Not long ago there was a muskrat swimming along the edge of the lake. Just his snout was visible until he slid under water, when you could see the outline of his body. Of course we’ve also seen trout and bass from our dock, which folks who are fishing in the lake would like to see more of.

And as I was working in the yard one day, I heard the frantic cackling and squawking of close to a dozen crows as they chased and hit a red-tailed hawk that had somehow wreaked havoc with something precious. To the left is a picture of some of the crows attacking the hawk. They were moving so fast that it was hard to get many of them into the frame.

Shortly after, there was silence, and the crows dispersed as quickly as they had assembled. Below is a picture of the crows zooming back to their home base.

I’m zooming back to my original home base for a couple of weeks, back to the old stomping grounds on the east coast. During that time, I won’t have regular access to the Internet. So look for replies to any comments, and a new post sometime before the end of June.


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