The weather today was beautiful! February usually brings snow (as does March in the beautiful Pacific Northwest) but today truly felt like spring with the bulbs making their appearance, the buds cresting on shrubs and the temperature is nearing 60 degrees.
At 1:30 this afternoon, while nearing the end of a home inspection in the city limits of Olympia, my buyer shrieked with excitement 'there's a raccoon walking up the driveway'. What? Is she crazy? It's a beautiful sunny afternoon - no way is a raccoon walking up the driveway. As I launched out the front door in search of this so-called raccoon, I peered past the garbage bin and up the block wall, there it was: the fattest raccoon I've ever seen. It scampered along the wall and into the neighbors huge rhodendron bush, a clean arm's length from the bird feeder.
Now I am an animal lover, a huge animal lover. I love the birds, the deer, all critters. But, when it comes to my home, I prefer to keep the wild sort at bay. So, I sadly report to my fellow animal loving friends, you must be proactive in keeping wild animals and critters away from your structure to prevent any damage.
Those beautiful bird feeders go something like this: The bird eats the feed but some falls on the ground - what do you think happens to those extra pieces? The mice quickly come in, grab the food and head for shelter in your crawlspace. Partner that with any body of water, be it a bird bath, koi pond, water feature or dog dish, just a few sips of water for the mouse, his bits of bird feed and the warm covered shelter of your crawl space, before long the family of mice is movin' in!
So back to the raccoon (who my 5 year old son has named Richard after I reccanted the story), he was just on his way to that bird feeder next door. Why should he be living in the woods when he can get his lunch in the neighbors yard? And seriously, during broad daylight, Richard the raccoon has confidence and something tells me this isn't his first time eating at the neighbor's place.