Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Some Summer Fun

Rent bikes, find a trail and ride all day.

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Hike along the Niagara escarpment.

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Jump into a pool.

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Watch fireworks.

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Watch a soccer game.


Celebrate with a summery birthday cake.

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Is summer so fun because it’s short or does it seem short because it’s so fun?

Monday, July 25, 2011

See My Raccoon? (Raccoons Part 15)

I’ve heard animal footsteps and I’ve smelled that hormone smell coons leave to let other raccoons know where they are, and I’ve seen droppings and footprints and the damage to our house. Yet, the whole time the only raccoon I’ve seen is the cute one on the side of the Humane Wildlife Control truck.New camera experiments 160

Demons are like that too. You never see them, but they sure do a lot of damage. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

That’s Better (Raccoon Vandalism Part 14)

Several days later John and Chris both came back. They took out the one-way door and they straightened the soffits. Looks better.

The screening is a bit tacky but I can live with that. Chances are in a few years we’ll pass a law that sends all the raccoons back to the forest. On that day, we’ll don our coonskin caps and tear down the screens. Oh happy day!

soffits 001

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Evidence Remains (Raccoon Vandalism Part 13)


Chris left the one-way door up, just in case we still had a squatter in our attic, but he didn’t think that was so. He repaired the soffits as best he could.

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Marty mentioned, “I guess if we decide to sell the house, we’ll have to have that redone.” Our fortress looks a little battered.

(to be continued)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Some Coons Prefer to Break Out (Part 12)

I called Humane Wildlife Control again.

Jennifer promised to send Chris over the very next day. (Yes, the Wildlife Control people are so much a part of my life, we’re on a first name basis.)

Chris read the footprints on the wall. According to him there are only one set of footprints and they are leading out.


And, the one-way door hasn’t been used.

New camera experiments 173  Chris explained some coons won’t use one-way doors. These coons are rather rare. Chris has only come across about a handful in his five years at the job.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Racoon (part 11)

Our coon hadn’t left peacefully. In fact we thought maybe she hadn’t left at all. She did considerable damage to the soffits making herself a little passageway. Two inch screws into the frame of the house didn’t defeat her.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Some Laws Don’t Make Sense—Racoons (part 10)


A little later Mrs. Robin Hood came by.

“Your husband knows how to deal with raccoons.” I told her.

“Did he tell you how he does it? He gets them in a cage…hooks them up to an exhaust pipe. Gone.”

I admire this neighbour even though he is breaking the law.

The urban, vandalizing, disease-spreading raccoon has no natural predators. Why do our laws protect him? We must be stupid.

(to be continued)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Knock out the Raccoons (part 9)


Of course our neighbours were curious about our coon warfare. One rather resourceful neighbour, who happened to be pushing his grandchild in a stroller down the sidewalk in front of our house, asked me how it was going.

I told him we were winning.

“You know what I do?” he said.


He drew his thumb across his throat and made a croaking sound.


“Smear a puck of nicotine with butter. They eat that. They are gone. Twenty-four dollars.”

I was in the presence of Robin Hood. I expressed my admiration.

(to be continued)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Raccoons (part 8)


When he was assessing the job, Corry from Humane Wildlife Control told us stories about the damage a coon can do. At one home the owner was looking as $10,000 to redo his entire attic.

This homeowner had been willing to live with coons. He didn’t want to kick out a mom and babies. Well, by the time he called Humane Wildlife Control the mama coon was into her second litter, the insulation was completely flattened, the wires were chewed and there was a truckload of excrement.

Raccoon excrement can be a dangerous thing.

(to be continued)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

This is Our House Mrs. Racoon

Just after dusk, when it was impossible to see what was going on up on our roof (of course we don’t own a working flashlight), we heard the one-way door, wire cage rattling. Marty went to bed and right to sleep. Not me. I wanted to get a picture. My camera didn’t capture anything. 
New camera experiments 170  So I gave up and went to bed as well. Not the raccoon. That raccoon was determined to get back in. She headed over to the back corner of the house by the girls’ bedrooms. Elizabeth said it sounded like someone slamming a body against the house. You can see the paw prints below. So, that’s why we spent all that money to screw down the soffits!
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(to be continued)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Evicting the Raccoon

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Two fellows with two trucks came and spend several hours harnessed (it’s the law) to our roof, caging in our vents and screwing down our soffits.
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They installed a one-way plexiglass door at the main entranceway. Note the baby hole in the wire on the left side. That’s for the baby coons when the mama coon calls for them.

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Then we wait until dusk.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Raccoon in the House (part 5)


Two days later I happened to look up at the soffit and fascia on the second floor just above the garage. Here’s a picture.

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Now what?

Obviously a raccoon had made our home her permanent residence. We were dealing with a squatter. I checked out my options on the internet and decided to call Humane Wildlife Control Inc. This, not out of concern for the humane treatment of the coon, but because this company guaranteed their ability to make my home a raccoon-proof fortress.

Soon we all may be wanting such fortresses. If each mama coon continues producing a litter of three of four youngsters until death by automobile or anarchist, humans will shortly be outnumbered.

Personally I think urban coons should be harvested as coonskin caps.

(to be continued)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Raccoon in the Attic (part 4)

We didn’t know if a coon or a whole family of coons was in our attic—or out looking for a quieter home—but we set a wooden block over the vent to protect our fluffy pink insulation against rain.

That night we heard what sounded like a coon breaking out. In the morning we shone our tiny flashlight up around inside the attic. Not an animal in sight. Marty nailed boards down over the roof vent and prepared to call a tradesman to install sturdy metal vents.

The next night Allison heard little footsteps on her bedroom ceiling. “There’s still an animal in our attic.”

Marty and I weren’t entirely prepared to believe her, but held off calling the tradesman.

Possibly there were baby raccoons buried somewhere in the insulation. Should we rescue them? Maybe they would die of starvation. Maybe that would stink.
(to be continued)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Raccoon in the Attic (part 3)


Of course the neighbours needed an explanation.

Then I learned that coons had already been banished from two houses on the street. This could be one of the same.

It occurred to me that if the first neighbour had simply shoot the animal or sent it to a faraway forest, I wouldn’t be having this problem. But most of us on the street are law-abiding citizens and according to the laws of the land it is illegal to shoot a raccoon and it also illegal to move a coon more than a few blocks from it’s natural surroundings.

Of course these laws make sense. What would we do without raccoons in our cities? And if they were sent back to the forest they would surely die fighting a territorial war. Raccoons have rights.

(to be continued)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Animal in the Attic (part 2)

Upon further investigation I discovered a plastic roof vent smashed. The vent hole open to the sky provided a perfect doorway into our attic. Bits of torn screening hung down the sides.

This had to be the work of a raccoon. Relying on limited experience and urban lore I attempted to handle the situation.

I've heard raccoons don’t like heavy metal music played loudly. I rooted through our CD collection and came up with “The Best of CCR”—the closest thing we own to heavy metal. I put disc 1 in the player which I pushed up through the attic entrance in a bedroom closet ceiling. I cranked up the volume. Then I stood outside on the neighbour’s driveway expecting the coon to pop out of the vent with his paws over his ears. I wish. A raccoon didn’t come out, but the neighbours did.

(to be continued)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Animal in the House

“There’s an animal in the attic,” reported our children when my husband and I returned from a blissful carefree week of golfing and biking and hiking.

We took this as information. Over the years mice and squirrels have been known to find their way into our attic.

Then, while opening the pool—which includes climbing onto the roof to put plugs on the solar water panels—I noticed what looked to me like bear poop in a roof trough. We had seem similar droppings in a wild blueberry patch up north. These were definitely not mouse turds.

(to be continued)