For the first time in over a week, I don’t feel like immediately crawling back into bed as a response to everything life has to offer. I’m still stuffy and have a good hacking cough when provoked, but most brain function and physicality has returned. Having been very sedentary and just having read an article about the horrors of visceral fat-I gots some a that-I was up for a walk in actual sunlight. It was still cold, but there was bright blue sky and visible plant life to make an Ohio dweller believe in the possibility of spring. Plus it’s the end of the quarter and I have SOOOOO much grading and being sick didn’t help so I had to
run…walk moderately quickly away for a bit.
I saw clusters of snowdrops in a small wooded area.
The native plants prairie area had been mowed and cleared for the winter, but small green things were peeking through. The vernal pools in this part of the park were muddy and overflowing from rain. However I’m a sucker for a mirrored tree line picture.
I call this one Ducks Digging in Trees.
In the rose garden portion of the park, I gawked at a tree, watching this very poised nuthatch, several chickadees and two different types of woodpeckers do their thing. Meanwhile the second wedding/ engagement party I’d seen that day tromped by in formal wear and giant winter coats, ready to freeze for photo shoots.
It was all very sunny and simple until I spotted a mound in the middle of the grass between walk ways and rose beds. Maybe everybody else wasn’t looking or maybe they saw dirt or a mound of leaves. However Brain saw fur and yelled, “ WE SHOULD LOOK AT IT NOW!”
Yep. Dead raccoon.
Intellectually, I knew it was dead. Wild animals do not typically curl up like house cats in a sunspot in the afternoon in the middle of a busy park for a little shut eye. Spring sunbeams or not. However I will admit to approaching with caution and staying a few feet away.
It was a lovely, smallish raccoon with reddish tones to its ringed tail and back, but blonde highlights around its ears and face. It did not smell, although it may have been bloating slightly. I couldn’t see any physical damage, and gazed around trying to come up with a likely death scenario. There was no immediate tree to have dropped from although being tossed out in recent high winds might have been a possibility. All roads were just too far away to drag a car broken body from. It did not appear chewed on so something bigger probably didn’t bring it here unless a vulture dropped his lunch. Old age? Poison? Heart attack?
While one part of Brain was sifting forensic scenarios, another part was hissing, “Someone is going to notice you hanging out with this raccoon, weirdo.” Yet another Brain denizen really had priorities straight and was like: “IMAGINE THE TAXIDERMY POSSIBILITIES! BUT WE’RE NOT VISITING HOME UNTIL LATER THIS MONTH. THERE’S NO ROOM IN THE FREEZER FOR THAT. GAH, EAT ALL THE FREEZER FOOD! CAN YOU JUST TAKE A RACCOON? WHAT DO WE HAVE IN THE CAR? TARP? THIS IS A PUBLIC PARK SHOULD I ALERT AUTHORITIES AND… SERIOUSLY, CAN I JUST TAKE IT? LIKE NO ONE ELSE SEEMS INTERESTED.”
At a loss for the next step, I took a really bad photo as if I wasn’t really taking a photo of a dead raccoon because the hissy part of Brain was all:”People will see you, you fucking psycho” and promptly texted my sister and MomBert. As per usual, they were not super helpful.
So I texted my dad the picture and basic message. Predictably, he immediately called because he and the company at his house found my predicament hilarious. He did not really have any good answers about legalities other than let it become some other creature’s dinner. The vultures are back after all.