Thursday, May 5, 2011
I know what I was thinking when I shot the carrot line-up. In retrospect it only shows soil compaction in that section of the front field and some very poor soil practices on my part
All of the above underlines why I should label the files of photos. I search for pictures of a raccoon.
When we offered to purchase our Shangrila, we were spending the summer in Madison,Wisconsin. Our state capitol is on a list of ten best places to live. Dawn and I enjoyed watching wild turkeys parade in the field behind our apartment complex just a stones throw from the Beltway. Numerous bike paths lured us to buy matching mountain bikes and restaurants galore served frosty glasses of beer after a jaunt. The owner of this schoolhouse was an alcoholic millionaire who could not find a fool to "caretake" the place. A heart attack convinced him of the need to lose the sauce and change his lifestyle.
We low-ball offered on the place. Life was good in Mad City. The millionaire decided that with a pole barn full of antique and custom automobiles, he could afford to lose the money he spent on upgrading the schoolhouse. After five years of vacancy ( save for a brief three weeks in which a hired caretaker-couple fled screaming from Shangrila) we moved in. This is late summer of 2004.
The turquoise toilet on the first floor is orange from rust. The basement smells so bad from the previous owner's hot tub, that only spiders considered it livable. The deck... Ah yes, the raccoon latrine. I knew we had trouble when I saw raccoon paw prints on the windows to the first floor. Cut to the chase scene.
Raccoons drive away Pucci, our cat. He's gone for two days hiding under the neighbor's porch. I declare raccoon war. I live trap twelve raccoons and relocate them five miles away. Other neighbors do the same or worse. Tales of 40+ raccoons relocated in a season are common. Jorge relocates 'coons on his daily workout at the club 22 mile away. Like the advice from my mechanic on how to train a dog, "get a length of garden hose and whack her across the snout" it flows freely into more violent techniques.
Yesterday, the "kids" are firmly ensconced on the deck. Pucci, the cat and Mandy the dog are riveted to the south side of the porch. I rationalize it's the geese in the cornfield. I notice the door to the live trap is closed. Oh, crap. After morning ablutions, I drive my truck to the spot, hoist the trap onto the bed, wearing gloves to thwart any possible rabies contamination from a scratch or bite if I'm careless. In the park I open the front door with a 5/8th inch dowel to prod with gloved hands. Raccoon gets the picture quickly and lumbers off. as opposed to a cousin who ran further into the recesses of Jorge's junk cluttered pick up bed when offered freedom, hiding under feed sacks, jumper cables and blankets used a protective cushions.
Mandy watches the action from inside my truck. I drive back on the highway toward town. As I approach warp speed , I hit the brakes to avoid flattening, you guessed it, a lumbering raccoon. "Oh well, at least he's heading north," I tell Mandy.