Of course my celebration, and drinking, is limited to one or two drinks because I do have to get up for work the next day. And unlike 20 years ago, I just can't handle hangovers nor do I want to waste a precious day of my life due to some self induced over indulgence. It is funny how others perceive my weekly tradition, some get it, some think I'm polishing off a lot more. I feel bad for those people who don't know me all that well. Anyways...
I'm enjoying the last days of the year where it's mild enough to sit outside in a t-shirt and not worry about bundling up. The lawn furniture is still out back and usually still dry by the time I get home from work and get out there to kick back with my drink.
The night time wildlife is great this year, seeing lots of critters roaming the backyards, as I've blogged a bit about everyone coming around. And the lately things have been even better with more up close and personal encounters. I figure its one part they are used to me sitting out there and more so its because of how I act around them being very quiet and slow moving if I am moving at all. I've sat on the ground by the deck and have had all 3 mammal species (Raccoon, Skunk, Opossum) walk right by me, giving me a glance before moving on with their evening hunts. My goal is to teach more people to not lose their s**t in the presence of local wildlife, just be quiet and calm, and embrace having a close encounter, especially around a Skunk. Running around and screaming is the wrong way to deal with one near you. They spray as a last resort in defending themselves. My encounters prove they really don't care much about us if we leave them alone, and if they get spooked, they prefer to make a run for it instead of blasting the threat.
Here I am with one of the local Skunks, we've seen 3 in the past few months. I am maybe 10 feet from this one and was for many minutes. I sat on the bench at the back and just watched him.
Some nights Sniffy and his family show up, it's mom and the 3 kids. So nice to see everyone is still with us and looking so healthy.
This is the kids from a couple months ago.
Another family come around other nights, its a mother with 2 kids. This mom is very different than Sniffy's. This mom is not very calm nor is she very nice, even to her kids. She snarls, growls and swats at everything in her vicinity. I feel bad for the little ones that are stuck with her. And what blows my mind is when we first noticed this family last month (September), the kids were really small, like big kittens. And cranky mom is smaller than the other adults I've seen. So I'm not sure if she's a young mom and is lacking the motherly instinct or perhaps it's genetic, she's just smaller and it's been passed on to her children. But what they lack in size, they make up in ferocity or giving off the show of being fierce. Such noises the little ones make when another passes them too. I wish I recorded them. They growl and whine and charge at everything... except me. Why? Once again, I'm just sitting back and watching the goings on.
One of the wee little ones.
The past few nights I've noticed the 2 little ones running around, and without their mother. I saw a dead Raccoon on the main road the other morning. I have to wonder if it's their mom? One part of me concerns over this but really I shouldn't, they are old enough now, and have each other to look out for. Or maybe they just had enough of their mom's nasty attitude and left on their own? Whatever the case, I watch them more intently now. And what I've noticed is they are calmer without her around. They don't freak or hiss or snarl or just plain "lose their s**t".
We all had a pleasant evening this week, actually a few of them.
Someone found something to snack on.
Here is Stumpy the "tail-less" Raccoon. He sure looks odd running around without the tail, that high back end sure stands out.
"Hey, buzz off mister, this is private!"
All the critters love water. Its true that its much easier to find food in their travels than water. I try to keep it clean but...
And while I sipped my 40 Creek, he had water. He has no idea what he is missing. Haha!
I make the best of my work hours, coming home after 10 at night. I prefer this over turning on the computer or television. And its great on the weekends when Angie can join me since she doesn't have to get up at 4:30am for work. But in those days in between weekends, especially on my Whiskey Wednesday, the wildlife do make for some great company.