Wednesday, June 8, 2011

'Coon's-eye view

Folks often ask us if it isn't a little lonely living in the woods on a one-lane road in the middle of 10 acres. Not so much.
It turns out we have at least one pair of eyes on us most of the time.

A large raccoon has taken up residence in a large poplar tree at the side of our yard. From that perch it can see when we fill our bird-feeders. Give it about a half an hour and its eases down the tree from its 60-foot perch and helps himself to the black-oil sunflower seed.

Feeding techniques are varied. Sometimes it unscrews the top of the rusty bird feeder (with much less difficulty than some of us.) Or it jumps on and jostles the seed to the ground. Or if Mr. Coon is really hungry, it can upend in the feeder in the fork of a branch and just let the seed pour on the ground.

If we happen to interrupt dinner, it slinks back up the tree to its post and watches us until the coast is clear.

We once tried to outsmart the non-birds (raccoons, turkey, squirrel) with ropes, pulleys and fancy feeders. Now we just set a place for everybody. Live and let live. As Betty says, they were here first.

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