The other night, JB and I were munching on some fruit on the back porch when we saw a raccoon stretching himself on one of our compost containers in the backyard. When we stood to get a better view, we discovered he was accompanied by two others, one of whom emerged from beneath the hostas about five feet from our back door. They were non-chalant when they saw us—even when JB began tossing some of the small rocks from our busted fountain at them. They were leisurely munching as well, preferring our well-nurtured garden vegetables. They sauntered slowly away into the further reaches of our garden.
Because I recently listened to a Radiolab show on rabies, Rodney versus Death (listen at your own peril–it is really scary), I was a bit freaked that these animals were perhaps even living in our yard. I know they are night feeders but I leave for work when it is still dark and we will often come home late at night. JB and IB were in the yard just a few weeks ago when something leaped in front of them and quickly escaped. Perhaps it was a raccoon.
The internet to the rescue— soaking tennis balls in ammonia and scattering them around the yard was suggested as a great way to send the raccoons on their way. Apparently raccoons find the smell of ammonia disgusting and nauseating. So last night we scattered the ammonia soaked tennis balls in the densest parts of the garden and around the compost bins.
So, the first game of the first set has begun on our grass court. Hopefully we’ve aced our first serve.
(photo by JB)