Archive for December 10th, 2009

Magical moments

I’m sure you have come across those TV nature shows where an eagle gets wounded and brought to a rehab center where they painstakingly nurse it back to health then find some secluded spot on the side of the mountain where they release the eagle which flies majestically into the sunset.  The camera pans to the expert who has a tear in her eye and looks so at peace as she explains that these are the moments for which she lives.  Sorry to ruin the illusion but it just doesn’t work that way. 

Sparrow, the wildlife rehabilitator gave us 5 raccoons to be released, the volunteer, (whom unknown to us was soon to be our neighbour, yes the very same one that we took to the Hospital 2 yrs later) in charge of nursing them back to health had become attached to the little guys and seeing as she was not going to be at the rehab center that day Sparrow decided it would be the perfect opportunity to give them a clean break.  The rule of thumb is not to become attached and not to have the wildlife become dependant upon humans. 

Unlike squirrels who are given to us in a hissing sack, (Leave well enough alone) raccoons are given to us in a dog crate.  They chatter and make all kinds of raccoon noises, but nothing like the squirrels.  You take them into the woods, leave them some food open the crate doors and wait, eventually they move from the safety of the crate and mosey into the woods, at least that is how it would be in that wonderful TV moment. 

The reality:

My wife and I are now in our woods at our dedicated racoon release site.    We open the crate step back with camera in hand and wait to make sure they are all okay.  Out they come, five adorable little bandits, we hang with them for a few moments taking pictures and making sure they are okay after being cooped up in a dog crate.  We are careful to keep our distance after all they are wild animals.    As I take pictures they walk right up to me I back away and they follow, I just stand there and they quickly become bored of me and head their own way.  Finally we turn to leave and unlike our husky, they follow.  We shoo them back into the woods and quickly turn and head back to the house the raccoons are faster and running around our legs and between our feet.  My wife is who is running ahead of me is desperately trying to out maneuver the little bastards bandits, but they are having non of it as they decide climbing up her legs is the thing to do.  We still laugh every time we walk down that particular path.

Those moments are definitely on my list of the moments to live for.   Yes it’s that impossible to describe magical moment when the possums vanish into the undergrowth to enjoy the rest of their lives as they should, but it is so much more.  It is balancing on a ladder while nailing a squirrel box to a tree, hiking out into the woods  in 80 degree heat swatting mosquitos while trying to hold a 20 pound crate of chattering raccoons in one hand and food for them in the other, it’s driving down the highway scared to move, speak or even breathe as 4 wild (meaning fully scented) skunks hiss in their crates in the back of the car, (another story).  Most of all it is laughing with my wife as we share the moments doing the things we love.

One of the little bandits playing in the water.

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