Saturday, August 22, 2009

Things I Learned at the Lake

Last weekend at the lake I learned some new things.

First, when you friend calls you from the cottage and says "I think you have raccoons in the chimney," it's good to find a Critter Guy as fast as possible -- and be very persistent.

I was lucky to find Larry the Critter Guy, and by the time Rick and I arrived at the lake, there were several traps set on the roof and by the tree that was clearly the access point.

About 10:30 at night or so, we heard squealing. (I should add at this point that these were traps that would not hurt any animal, so although it sounded awful, we knew it wasn't hurt from the trap.)

The squealing and wailing went through the night, along with sounds like something being pulled along the roof, no doubt baby coon one trying to escape. It was well after three when I got to sleep to stay. I was worried about the poor thing in the pouring rain in the cage, and yet so relieved it wasn't in my chimney.

The next day we could see one raccoon, so I called LCG who came out. Turned our there were three -- we couldn't see two of the traps.

We got two babies -- weaned, said Larry, and ready to be on their own -- and the mom, who'd been badly injured in a fight and clearly wasn't going to make it. I won't go into detail, but it was obvious even to me.

Now, when I think of raccoons, I think of these cute little Bandit type animals with their mask. Remember the children's book "Rascal"? Yeah, Cute. Sweet.

My childhood friend Jeri Aldrich had a mom who could do anything with animals and I clearly remember going over to their house and seeing the cat, dog and raccoon sit up for dinner and treats.

Let's just say the guys we pulled down don't fit that category, and are probably more true to form. They were definitely scrappy!

So, Larry lowered his traps from the roof, put them in the truck and was going to set the babies free on 40 acres about 20 miles from the cottage. They should be fine.

(As for mom, he said, "I'll do what you want, but she's not going to make it." I said, "Do what you need to do but don't tell me the details." I think she's in raccoon heaven right now.

So, that was one big adventure.

The other thing I learned was about leftovers, after making two things for dinner on Saturday night -- ratatouille and a tomato/basil/mozarella/kalamata/cucumber salad with oil and vinegar.

Making these was nothing new. But using the leftovers was. Try making an egg scramble with your eggs, leftover ratatouille and a little cheese. It's fabulous. That was Rick's idea.

As for the other salad, mix it in with mini-penne and whatever else you want to add and serve it with herbed shrimp. Delicious!

And that's how I spent last weekend!


beth said...

we caught baby squirrels once and that was quite a job....

and my sister yesterday just caught a skunk in their live trap....which now has to be shot as she was told there is no other way to get rid of them and you do not want them around your house or your dogs or your kids.....

they just moved and she is now a country girl having to get used to all this kind of stuff....LOL !

Relyn said...

I know raccoons are pests, but I can't help it, I just love them. When we lived on the river in Oregon we had some "pet" raccoons who would come to our window every night and tap on it until we came out to feed them. I loved it.

Rosa said...

I've always loved raccoons, at a distance! When we were first married and lived in the city, Georgetown, DC, we had raccoons in our back trees. We lived on the top floor of an old row house. After our first anniversary, we shared our old nasty frozen wedding cake and put it in the trash on our deck (three stories up!). The raccoons were able to get the lid off the trash can and devour that top layer of cake! There were little paw prints of white icing everywhere! Fond memories.

Oh said...

those crazy racoons! so glad there was a "trapper" available. Ugh, but the bump and squeals in the night! glad it was a (mostly) happy ending.

As for your leftover magic, we haven't eaten yet today and I wonder, I just wonder if I can do any magic at all with what's in our fridge?

Can you believe it's end of summer, well, in terms of the school year starting up?

Amy said...

At our last house (in FL), we had a bunch of wild animals - raccoons, possums, turtles, squirrels... but the most fun was the raccoons. They'd come hang out on the back porch and beg for marshmallows. They love 'em!

anno said...

If only we could pick the adventures that come our way; raccoons are always a pain in the neck. At least yours made for a good story. Love the ideas for using leftovers -- I was thinking about picking up carryout for dinner, but this inspires me to check my refrigerator and consider creative options for the leftovers I know are stored there.

~*~Magpie's Nest said...

Pretty exciting critter capers Jeanie, as only you can tell it'
Too bad about the mamma raccoon, good timing for the twins tho :)

robin-bird said...

i'm taking notes on your lessons. on the food especially..i love your leftover creativity. poor mama raccoon. that makes me sad :(

BONNIE K said...

Well I am an animal lover, but the thought of having those raccoons in any part of my house - I just don't want to think about it. I love Larry The Critter Guy. Now that would make a good blog post - The Adventures of Larry the Critter Guy!

Joanne Huffman said...

Raccoons are so much nicer in illustrations than in real life.

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