I was up at 5:30 this morning, in that wonderful sort of half-light that 5:30 gives. Awoken by frolicking outside the bedroom window and a VERY interested cat on the bed. I crawled down to the foot to peek out and was greeted by 2 happy, little, masked raccoon tots digging in the mulch. The mommy raccoon was lumbering down the way. After the "OH! Cute!!" passed I got worried about the mom - it was daylight after all and raccoons spotted during the day are sick or rabid, right?
Wrong! Thanks Google!
Early morning raccoon spotting is nothing unusual (afternoon though - you'll wanna phone animal control.) Whew!
But the best thing I came across was a tip on teaching your kids to deal with raccoons and other outside dangers. They said to encourage kids to be specific in their yelling - so instead of a general scream, encourage them to yell "Go away, raccoon!" for instance. Or "Go away, stranger!" Or "My foot is stuck in a bucket!" Depending on the situation, the couple extra seconds that heads up will buy you can be critical - giving you time to grab something as you run out of the house or turn on the hose or dial 9-1-1. We all know that in emergencies seconds matter and this is a great way to increase the time you have to react.
If you are interested in a compassionate guide to backyard wildlife, here is a link to the Compassionate Action Institute that has great write-ups about peacefully coexisting with our backyard friends - and a kid's corner to boot!