Thursday, July 07, 2005

Critters

Here in North Vancouver, which has city living but is near the mountains, we have plenty of critters - that's southern US English for animals that you don't expect to see in the city, like raccoons, skunks, bears . . . yep, bears! The mountains are home to bunches of the cutest little black bears that love to come down to the city and get some free food. We haven't seen any bears in our yard or neighborhood yet, but we have seen raccoons and . . . skunks!

When we first moved here last summer, we had a coon try to come in our patio door one night (we have no screens on any of our windows). Wes chased him away, and we learned to close the patio doors when it gets dark. A few weeks ago, though, in the middle of a Sunday afternoon, Andrew saw some rummaging around in our little flower bed - they seem to really like the flowers I planted there - and got a few pictures of them! Raccoons really are cute, but they sure do love to dig. I've gone out countless mornings and found mysterious little holes and mounds of dirt in the yard, and I'm pretty sure they were made by our little coon friends

Now in the past few days, we've had several skunk sightings. I don't mind sighting them - I just don't want to startle them! Bad news! A couple of nights ago, Samuel saw a big one waddling away from under his bedroom window (he's on the second story, though!) and going next door to the neighbor's house. Then last night, as I was closing the curtains on my (closed) patio doors, a small movement caught my eye - a little skunk! This one waddled away, oh so ho-hum, but I closed those curtains very carefully, because I didn't want to scare him. He had been right in front of our glass doors! Then just a few minutes ago, Wes hollered down the stairs for me to come up there. He sounded a little urgent but not panicked, so I trotted up the stairs, where he pointed out his office window. In our neighbor's back yard were FOUR skunks! They were having a great little skunk party out there! Very cute, I might add. But I sent Samuel down to close those open patio doors and get the camera. The closing door scared them and they scurried under the neighbor's deck (nobody got too upset, apparently), all four of them. I left the camera upstairs so Wes could get a picture of them if they come back out. I kind of hope they do. I think I'll step over to the neighbor's this evening when they come home and let them know they're hosting a skunk family. They might be interested. Wes is talking about getting a screen door for the patio doors . . .

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