Monday, March 04, 2013

Snow, maybe, and raccoons, yes

Snow flurries were a constant presence this weekend at Roundtop. Sometimes the flurries threatened to turn into a squall, but most of the time they drifted like ash from a distant fire, one or two at a time and never amounting to much.

But today it appears I might get to see an actual snowstorm this year, though when storms come in March the snow never lasts. This storm, should it appear as forecast, does not look to be an exception to that rule. At the moment I’m cautiously optimistic, while trying not to get too excited. The forecasters are predicting anything from 0-10 inches of snow, and even they are complaining about the lack of clarity in their forecasts.

I’m withholding my enthusiasm until the feeder birds start to mob my feeders. If that happens, I’ll know a storm is on its way.

At the cabin I’ve been dealing with the nightly prowls of two raccoons, one smaller than the other. They appear twice a night, the first time early in the evening and the last time around 4:30 a.m. I figure I get them heading out for their night of pillaging and again on their return from pirating. I have taken to going to bed earlier simply so that when I’m awakened by the hysterical barking of Baby Dog at 4:30 a.m. I have already gotten a decent night’s sleep so it won’t matter if I can’t fall back asleep again.

Last night I had to chase the smaller one off my front deck. It had retreated to a corner of the railing cap and was trying to make a stand there, but when I came out and waved my arms it suddenly decided that climbing down the deck post wasn’t impossible, after all.

For a couple of nights now they have attempted to breach the chicken pen, to no avail, though they have succeeded in digging a small hole at one spot so they can reach under the pen and touch the chicken feeder—not that the girls leave much food by nightfall. This morning I placed a heavy piece of railroad tie scavenged from Roundtop’s dump over the spot. The tie is pretty heavy, so I’m hoping they can’t move it. The chickens themselves are up in their coop at that hour and seem secure in there. Half the time the raccoons don’t even wake the chickens, and it doesn’t take much for the girls to set up a squawk.

I am shortly going to visit a local sporting goods store to invest in some coyote urine, a remedy Marcus Schneck, the outdoor writer for Harrisburg’s newspaper, suggested to me this morning. He claims a few drops around the perimeter of the cabin should do the trick. I’ll let you know how it works.

1 comment:

Granny Sue said...

Waiting for freezing rain and sleet here---yuck.

I hope the coyote urine works. We once got elephant dung from the circus to put around our garden to keep out the deer. It worked for a little while!