What to bring to the picnic table.

Not pineapple.

I gave the squirrels one of those tubes of pineapple that might have hung out in the fridge for just a little too long for my taste. They were not impressed.

I had envisioned squirrels running amok, jacked up on natural pineapple sugars, but what I got was some nibbles and then one morning it was just gone. I think someone just chucked it over the fence, creating a mystery find for one of my neighbors.

As an apology, I created this somewhat phallic apple and corn on the cob combo. It led to some suggestive squirrel images, but culinary results were not much better until I begrudgingly went out and sliced the apple up.

I’m your private dancer, a dancer for corn kernels….

My audience was not thrilled. “Hey, lady!! Dried field corn! That’s all we want. Maybe an  amuse bouche of sunflower seeds.”

Trash Panda visited and gave the selection maybe three stars. I love the stealthy approach and that he or she looks like a giant bear in comparison to the table’s size. While the raccoon did make some night time visits, it showed up more often in the early morning around 7:30 or 8 and in the early evening around 9 pm. I guess I need to pay better attention when I look out my windows.

Much as I would love them to eat the tomatoes that aren’t going to make it on the vine, old apples, and whatever aged exotic fruits I have on hand, they really just want dry corn, sunflower seeds, and peanuts. Peanuts are amazing! (I’m told)

I discovered that I can pretty easily throw a bunch of images together into a time lapse sequence. Here are the squirrels? A squirrel? tearing through their favorite treat.

Seriously, can I just take it?!

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.

Happy Birthday from the Eye of Sauron

MomBert makes some weird shit sometimes. I don’t know many people who got their own Eye of Sauron complete with a hobbit eating spider as a birthday present. My Mordor loves me. (See what I did there!)img_2029

The best part is that the eye plus the attached message were completely unintentional as far as literary references.  MomBert reads the daily newspaper and magazines, but is not big on novels. So while she has a general knowledge of Tolkien and hobbits, I’m not sure that the image of that burning eye sweeping the land to zero in on the ring is part of her repertoire.

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Maybe she deserves more credit. What I do know is that my gift receiving poker face sucks, and that I must have had my “what the fuck is this weirdness” expression on when I opened her creation. Just when I had gotten used to Sauron creeping on me, these two little faces arrived in the mail as replacements. I think the raccoon is too cute and needs its own set up all together.

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But then she sent me gremlins for Valentines Day.

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Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?

Shit’s going down again at Grammie’s house.

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To be clear, the “someone” was some little animal. Given the formation and the lack of seeds and insects, I’ll wager cat.

After several prompts, —I think she was stalling–MomBert finally went to look. I cropped out most of the image because it was REALLY fresh. Basically the rib cage attached to the complete head and one little paw.

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This is the part of the conversation that is probably only funny to me.

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Really? I know that the birds carrying a dead raccoon would be vultures.

I gave it 30 minutes before I told her it was a Monty Python  bit. Still not quite right.

African sparrows, geeez.

WTF, Raccoon?

Tonight on the way home from a  fundraiser for cats–they spend a shit ton of money,cats do–we saw a raccoon hunched over in the middle of  a very busy intersection. As we passed, car lights revealed that it was noshing on  a dead flattened squirrel carcass. Tara told me that the raccoon did not, as I suggested, need a hug.

The End.