Posts Tagged ‘Raccoons’

This will be my 10th post and it is going to be self-indulgent after all this is a journey about me.  Have I learned anything from any of this?   I’ve made a few observations.  I’m petty sure I was taught this in high school but it only hit home once I started this blog, the ending is always somewhere in the beginning.  Writing, like everything else takes on a life on its own. All I can really do is have an idea and start typing, it doesn’t take long before the story heads off in its own direction. I can try and nudge it one way or another but usually I end up having to change words around to accomodate the new direction. If and when I try to nudge it back to my orignal intent the words feel wrong.  An easy example of this can be clearly seen (from my perspective) in Magical moments. The entire post was supposed to be comedic in nature and focus around the raccoons climbing up my wife’s leg.  Instead that theme turned into one line.  While I hope folks found the entry funny the point turned into something quite insightful,   I got as far the raccoon climbing my wife’s leg and from there the story sat in my draft file for a week and a half without an ending.  Eventually I looked back at the beginning and discovered that the moment that the wildlife people live for wasn’t just the release of animal it was the success of a process.  I was able to add a little of the reality or at least the reality my wife and I go through and some of the elements that make it special.  So the story took on its own life and the ending which had eluded me was right there at the beginning.

The person who inspired me to start a blog, or at least who managed to get me off my arse and start writing manages to post 3 times a week Mommy said what? which is amazing seeing as she has the boy, the girl, the husband, the job and a life. My goal is twice a week with the hope of three times. Each time I bring a post to completion I panic, while I have plenty to draw from I go blank.  I don’t want to fall into a rut of similar posts. I refuse to rant and plenty of my posts turn into rants.  I file them away because with some thought I can turn them around.  It takes a day or so to come up with a post.  Then it takes an hour or so to get it to the screen then there is the countless times I go through it over and over again unfortunately I can’t do that in one sitting.  I end up going over it several times throughout the day and then some.  Sure enough I manage to make my self-imposed deadline without much sacrifice.  When I finally publish the post I am happy with it.  Obviously there is always room for improvement, but that is what the next post is for.  

I am quite surprised by the number of people who follow my blog and even more surprised by who some of them are.  My biggest worry in starting this is who is going to read it?  But does it matter?  It must I check on my stats every time I turn on the computer.  It is always a little ego boosts.  On top of that there is a number of people who get the blog sent to them by email I’m not sure if WordPress counts that as a hit or not.  But I know they are there even if they don’t comment on the page itself.  I really am thankful for my readers and hope you continue to read and enjoy.

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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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