Visitor in the Night

A couple of nights ago we had a midnight visitor.  We woke up in the morning to find that the Creepy Crawley pool cleaner had been lifted out of the pool, and that the hose had been shredded into small pieces.  Neither Miki nor I heard anything, though that is not unusual as we are both sound sleepers.  Miki thought it was the work of vandals, while I suspected an animal such as the raccoon as nothing else had been disturbed.


Due to an accumulation of circumstances, our home has become a wildlife refuge.  We have fruit trees to provide food, a pool to provide water, and an undeveloped tract of land owned by the city adjacent to our property.  This land contains tall pine trees in which we have seen owls roost, and a savannah of tall grass where coyotes and hawks love to hunt.  We have a bird population nesting in our bushes of quail, sparrows, turtledoves, hummingbirds, robins, blue birds, and an occasional oriole.  For a long time we had a road runner performing his usual antics, though sadly I haven’t seen him lately. The rabbits can be very destructive to Miki’s flowers when the predators are on holiday and the ecosystem shifts in their favor.  We also have our share of possums, skunks, raccoons, and have even noted visits from a white egret and a deer.


Last night we were sitting on our patio with another couple enjoying a glass of wine, celebrating the end of the workweek.  The hose from the pool sweep was still lying on the deck, awaiting its replacement.  We heard a sound, and looked up to see our vandal returning to the scene of his crime.  There was a big, healthy looking raccoon playing with the broken hose.  Instead of being afraid, the animal started to slowly walk toward us.  Our friend stood up, clapped her hands, and yelled.  The raccoon, completely ignoring her bluff, kept slowly coming toward us.  Being fully aware of the damage those sharp claws and teeth can produce, we beat a hasty retreat behind the sliding glass door of the kitchen when the animal was 5 feet away.  Satisfied with his victory, the raccoon calmly inspected his conquered territory for any spoils of war.  Seeing none, he unhurriedly ambled off into the night.


Sadly, I can’t afford to keep replacing the pool equipment, and we’ll have to request animal control from the city to provide a trap for the raccoon in order to have him vacate the premises.  This is unfair, as this was his land long before we came along.  But then, there’s nothing fair about the food chain.


I will be taking a short sabbatical from this blog, as my favorite poet and his bride have arrived from the City of Lights to spend their summer vacation with us.  Naturally, they have first claim on my free time; I trust you will understand.  Hope you are all enjoying your weekend.  Be well.



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23 Responses to Visitor in the Night

  1. Hope says:

    "smiling".. silly raccoon. sounds like your place is totally Divine.. how blessed you are.. sorry you have to vacate the raccoon.
    you have a wonderful time with your favorite poet and his bride.. enjoy the time you have to share with them..
    hugs Hope

  2. Stephen Craig says:

    Jorge,  Have a great time with your family.  The deer have eaten all but a few of my roses.  Am glad they enjoy them as much as I do.  As ever be well.  Stephen Craig Rowe

  3. Duckie says:

    Sounds like you live in \’wild kingdom\’  I think I would draw the line with some of your critters.  Enjoy you \’sabatical.\’
    As ever

  4. PJ says:

    Good Evening jorge,
    Yes, the animal kingdom you mention sounds like our place. This morning as I walked across the kitchen to make my cup of coffee, I looked out the glass door and there was a fawn and Doe on the upper hillside. Beautiful!
    Have a most loving time with your son and his beautiful bride. May God Bless.
    Until next time..Keep Smiling.

  5. Marge says:

    Wonderful story, as ever, Jorge!
    You were wise to retreat to safety when the raccoon advanced on you; that\’s not normal behavior for an animal.
    Enjoy your time with your Poet; your friends will be waiting for your return!
    As ever,

  6. Holy says:

    I was lurking here too, but I was quieter and less obtrusive than your raccoon.We have a family of 5 raccoons that live in the trees in our backyard forest.  And in our previous rental, our back deck bordered on a green belt/ravine, where the raccoons liked to frequent.  We saw them often – one even came up onto the deck and rubbed up against the leg of a visitor from Japan one dark summer night – she thought it was a cat at first – very disconcerting.And we contend with bears as well. My daughter is convinced she saw a bear streak through our backyard the other afternoon – something "huge, black and lightening fast"….who knows.  Suffice to say, I don\’t let the kids play in the back trees unattended right now.  A bear was definitely spotted in the neighborhood a couple of weeks back.And sometimes being higher up on the food chain means little.  Might has right, as our driver in Pakistan used to say, as he would aggressively honk his horn and push his way into traffic.Enjoy time with your favola poet and his bride.  And as time has ticked, it\’s your right, nay duty, to inquire every so slightly about the advent of children on their horizon  Because it might be expected for you to do so. 🙂

  7. sweeti's says:

    U have ur PAris  friends
    i wish u a wonderful sabbatical  .
    tHUMBS UP FOR THE RACCOON  ..LOL  indeed  its his  property…but  as we can use  our brain its not  safe to have him around
    Must be a male one…LOL
    well as  u describe ur  surroundings   u must live in paradise.
    i can see myself  sitting  on the pool  with  a glass of wine, gossiping with good friends  and enjoy  the view..
    well Jorge
    CU  and  enjoy ur relaxing time

  8. Gayle says:

    Enjoy your family and get much needed rest and recuperation.  My Love to you and yours.

  9. J says:

    Have a great visit with your son Jorge. By all means get rid of the raccoon so you can enjoy your pool. Genesis 1:26 says in j\’s translation, "let us make man like us and give them dominion over all the critters".

  10. Neora Chana says:

    What a wonderful place to live, but unfortunately, we all need to set our boundaries.  You wouldn\’t do it if it wasn\’t absolutely necessary.
    Have fun on your sabbatical……

  11. Michelle says:

    Such a wide variety of wildlife you have in your backyard. We had a raccoon come onto our porch before too. A big one. The reason became very apparent. We had a bag of unopened dog food and the raccoon preceded to open and get his fill before we heard the loud thud of him jumping down from the bench and we saw him retreating down the wheelchair ramp. Needless to say, dogfood was then never placed there again.
    I hope you, Miki, and your son and daughter in law have a wonderful time. Enjoy yourselves completely!
    P.S. I thought about your wife last night as I made Pastel de Choclo. 😉

  12. Barb says:

    So there seems no doubt now Rocky he raccoon is not only the accused but the obvious felon 🙂
    I am with you guess a cage/ capture and removal to a safer more open place is the answer lol
    Jorge have a delightful visit and time with your friends .. we will all be here on your return
    BE Well

  13. Holy says:

    OK, what\’s up?  Have you been dancing and carousing so much these last couple of days that you awoke the seismic Gods?  Hope today\’s little earth hiccup didn\’t break any of your wine glasses. That wouldn\’t be fun.  🙂  Enjoy your break.

  14. Deborah says:

    I\’m delighted that your poet is in town from Paris, hope your visit is wonderful as I am sure it will be.  That is quite a brazen raccoon you have there.  Looking forward to hearing more.
    Blessed be

  15. dawn says:

    im saying it.
    in any case,
    its merely thought association— isnt it? peace, dawn

  16. Sophie says:

    From your words I  found that you have a good lifestyle.

  17. Charlotte says:

    oh how well I remember the parties the racoons used to have in our corn field late at night.  We heard that playing music would keep them out, I swear all that did was make them bring their friends and party. And a low electric fence only resulted in them putting a board across the fence so that they could walk across and not get shocked.. They are very brave …. fun to watch but I wouldn\’t want to tangle with them either.
    Enjoy your visit with your family while they are with you.  hugs, lottemae

  18. Cheryl says:

    I have had my share of racoon troubles.  I have found they can get in any gabage can.  I  doe not matter how tight it is closed.  have a great time with your son an his bride….

  19. Joe says:

    Hey J,Hope you have a relaxing sabbatical.  Pleae lest Jane know that I am blocked from her site.  I\’d don\’t believe I have left a comment that was disrespectful or in bad taste.  If I have, please encourage her to educate me with respect to any comments that may have been offensive.
    In Yosemite, I have found that the racoons are far more aggressive than bears.  After sunset once (a few years ago) they (two or three of them) helped themselves to Cinnibons.  Pretty mucy devoured all or parts of all the pastries.  Somebody got a sugar rush & it wasn\’t me.

  20. KatSoup says:

    enjoy the time with your friends.  I hope the little fella moves on but I understand.  I had to kill a spider the size of a cat!

  21. Holy says:

    Drive-by hello.  Hop you\’ve been enjoying your visit. 

  22. Bittersweet on-the-hill. says:

    Hello Jorge,
    I enjoyed reading about the animal life around you.  I didn\’t realize you lived so close to that wildlife.  We have a number of racoons living done by the thicket next to the stream and I hear them many nights. There cries are like babies and it can be a bit unnerving at two in the morning. Take care not to let them get too close; they can be dangerous and vicious.
    I hope you enjoy the visit of your favorite poet and his wife. Nothing like having family visit for awhile.  Enjoy your time with them.  Bittersweet

  23. Yours Truly says:

    Hi  Jorge,
    You were so right to get away from that raccoon.  The deer here are very tame and I do not like them in the yard because they shed ticks with Lyme disease.  I shoo them to no avail.  Even when I beat on a pie tin with spoon they only amble off, very slowly as if to say, well, if you insist.

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