Monday, June 11, 2012

Trappin' 'Coons

I had been suspecting that the raccoons were back on our back veranda several weeks ago.  There were little signs like debris in the kitty water-er that made me suspicious.  That was about a month ago...about the time our black kitty disappeared, although I doubt the raccoons had anything to do with that.

We have had trouble on and off with raccoons up here.  After all, we are out on the wild frontier, so to speak.  The first night we stayed in our new house, we didn't shut the garage door soon enough, and I caught a posse of them dumping over our trash can at dusk and strewing watermelon bits all over the place.  A couple of nights later, JP left his truck windows open a few inches, and one climbed in, went through the trash, and left muddy footprints all over the girls' car seats and the rest of the upholstery. 

When they get too annoying, we catch a few in the live trap, and that seems to solve the problem for awhile.  We did it last summer when they were pulling out the plants that my Mom spent all day planting in her flower beds.

Anyway, I was thinking about getting the live trap back out, but hadn't actually done it yet, when I discovered this mess one morning.  Yes, that's raccoon poo on my table!

I put the trap up that evening, baited with a $.25 can of kitty food from Big Lots, and as I mentioned in my last post, I caught the little bugger.  Here's the proof...look at his evil eyes!

Unfortunately, some idiot put the trap together wrong (that would be me) and he wrangled himself out through a space about 3 inches high.  I have set it every evening since then, and he keeps springing the trap.  This morning, I consulted my Dad, who was quite successful at catching both 'coons and our white kitty in the live trap last summer.  We rigged it up against a wall and between things that should keep it from being able to either spring the trap, or fish out chunks of tuna from between the bars like he did last night.

GRRRRR.  I want that 'coon OUTA HERE!

While I wasn't having unsuccessful trapping issues over the weekend, I planted some more things from my friend:  4 little evergreen trees.  These are intended to someday camouflage the propane tank, which was meant to be a temporary thing until they dug the 2 gas wells on our property and we got free natural gas.  Before that happened, they discovered the Marcellus gas deposits in our corner of the world, and the shallow drilling guys gave up their leases in favor of the deep drilling folks.   So, we are stuck with the big, Ugly propane tank in our yard.  It is conveniently located right as you pull up our driveway in front of our house...adds tremendously to our "curb appeal".

For the past 2 years, I have been planting butterfly bushes around the tank, but the soil there is terrible.  It is immensely compacted from all of the equipment driving over it both in building the house, and in burying water, electric and gas lines, which all go into the house in that general vicinity.  JP suggested that I use the broad fork to loosen the soil before digging holes for the trees, but even jumping up and down on the thing, I could only get the forks about 2 inches deep.  JP worked at it for a long time, and finally got 4 areas loosened up.  It took most of the day to get the trees planted, and my 2 1/2 pitiful butterfly bushes moved.  In the process, I realized that I really should power wash the big, Ugly propane tank...another project to add to my list!

This evening, though, I'm focusing on trappin' 'coons.

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