This weekend my son was looking out of the window and said look at the mommy raccoon with three baby raccoons, and I sort of ignored it, because he always confuses squirrels with raccoons. Not this time--he was right. There was a mom and three babies balancing on the fence early in the morning to make their way to our garbage. I though I had seen some raccoon prints the other day, but didn't think much of it. These guys are so funny to watch. There was a mom with two babies that used to come see me every day when I lived in Springfield. She'd stash the babies in a tree and then come take saltines and cat foot not quite out of my hand, but almost. They have the funniest way of eating--the eyes in that black mask are on you all the time, but the hands are moving in odd directions, shoving the food in.
As much as I want to, I am not going to feed these because a.) they do bite and they do carry rabies, and b.) the man across the street traps them and then "releases" them into a nearby natural park. I'm sure he shoots them, but he would never admit to it because I think it's against the law. When one of the neighbors died (he was old) his house was vacant for a while, and raccoons got in through the chimney and did major damage--eating through wire, etc. All of the ceiling fans had crashed onto the floor. That's when I found out about how he took care of them. So I'll be keeping quiet about our little friends. I really hope they come back.
Almost better than the raccoons was the luna moth on the bricks when I came home. The boys got to see that as well. The markings on her wings were so pretty. I know they're supposed to look like eyes, but on this moth the top of each upper wing was rimmed with brown that curled in, so the wings looked as though they were marked with symmetrical snake heads. Very beautiful. I haven't seen one of those for so long. I think this one is newly emerged, and its wings seemed wet. Since it was sort of low to the ground, I'm going to keep my cat in tonight.