…this time last year we discovered a similar visitor in our backyard
Some of you may remember the racoon we found in our deck box last year. We managed to get a couple of photos before it scurried off and never returned. All spring we’ve had a heavy metal pan sitting on top of the box so we figured that would be enough of a deterrent to keep the racoons out of the box.
When our dog Frances started to get excited and agitated around the outside of the box this week my husband suspected that the racoon had returned. We took the dog back into the house and quickly the racoon escaped. When we opened the box we found another surprise.
The mama returned shortly after but she wasn’t sure what to do.
We called Animal Control and they told us to make the area very uncomfortable by playing loud music, especially at night, and throwing in some dog fur into the box. The one thing not to do is add moth balls because they are too toxic for the babies. Apparently racoons have more than one den site so the theory is that the mother will take her babies somewhere else.
We were all set to do that but my husband didn’t want to wait until nightfall so he started by opening the box all the way. Again the mama racoon scurried away. It didn’t take long before she returned and one by one she removed her babies and waddled across the deck and the backyard, up the chain link fence and into the neighbours yard. We were afraid she was going to move into our old garage or crawl under our deck but I guess one of her other den sites is in someone else’s backyard.
This is Frances. She is a strange mix between a Dachshund and an Australian Shepard. We’ve had her for over 12 years and she has certainly slowed down over the years. Her favourite place in the world to be is at the cottage. She loves the water but now she spends more and more time sleeping in the shade.
At first it looked like winter would never arrive but then the snow came and the temperatures dropped to -13 degrees Celsius with a wind chill of -20. For my American friends that would be the same as -4 Fahrenheit.
It’s even too cold for my dog, Frances. When nature calls she goes out and comes right back in.
I can’t believe that our dog, Frances is already 12 years old. We got her as a puppy from our daughter when she got a new job that made it impossible for her to properly train a new puppy. Frances immediately became my husband’s dog. It was love at first sight.
Over the years Frances has brought us a lot of joy. She’s a strange mix and whenever people ask about her breed they’re surprised by the answer. To the best of our knowledge she’s a cross between an Australian Sheppard and a Dachshund.
Here are a few photos of her over the last 12 years.
This year we decided as a family to cut down our Christmas trees. We’ve done it in the past and always get a lot of joy out of it. Two years ago there was a ton of snow on the ground and this year there was next to nothing. Nonetheless we had a lot of fun and I discovered a new landmark that I didn’t know existed.
The tree farm we used this year was a smaller place, owned by an older couple. There were no sleigh rides or wagons, hot cocoa or tree balers. It didn’t matter though because we were able to walk through the grounds at our own pace and not worry about hoards of people all eyeing the same tree. The dogs were also allowed to run freely. We just had to make sure that they didn’t wander off because there are coyotes in the area.
I don’t think the place even had a name. We just looked for the signs directing us to ‘Cut Your Own Christmas Tree’. From Toronto we drove westbound along the QEW and Hyw. 403 until we reached Hwy. 6 going north. From there we drove till we hit concession road #6 and went east. Luckily we had our daughter, Gaelan on the phone and she directed us onto the property.
In the next post I’ll describe the surprising landmark that we discovered while out ‘hunting’ for the perfect Christmas tree.