Friday, July 21, 2006

Attack of the Killer Raccoons

One of my favorite ways to relax is to sit out in the backyard late into the night and read something. Lately I've been out there a lot, enjoying the warm summer evenings.

Out of our back door is our yard and then an extension of a grassy (mowed) field between my house and Calvary Baptist Church (where I pastor). So our backyard is like an angled football field along a wooded creek. It's really a wonderful place.

A few nights back I was digesting a good book and I caught something out of the corner of my eye. I looked left and found five raccoons passing about 8 feet from my chair. It freaked me out and I was afraid they were going to head toward me. The last thing I wanted was for them to not realize I was there until they were close enough to bite my ankle.

So I shook my chair to make some noise and get their attention. That freaked THEM out and they took an aggressive posture and started growling. Yeah, their growl sounds pretty mean actually. Teeth glistening in the light peeking through the kitchen blinds, I thought I was about to become raccoon food.

Being close to our back door, I decided to hop inside to get them to chill out. But as I tried to get up they growled louder. So I did what any sane, strong alpha male would do. I ran inside like a scared little girl.

I turned on the backyard flood lamp and saw one grasping a tree, as scared as I was. I thought, I just ran away from a bunch of glorified rats. What a big sissy. So I decided to be a man and grab my camera to catch a picture if possible. I went back out and didn't see them. So I started reading my book again.

Sure enough, they came around the house on the exact same path as before. I let them pass by me and they headed out in the yard in search of food. I snapped a few low-light photographs and made a few raccoon friends.

Now I see them (or hear them) about every third night I'm outside. They still freak me out a bit, but we have learned to co-exist together. ;)



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