Tiny things #1

Today I start a series of posts I'm calling "tiny things", for reasons which will soon become apparent. Some weeks I wonder just what I'll post about, as interesting topics seem so hard to find. Sometimes though, topics get handed to me.

Such is the case with today's subject. Keep reading to find out who owns this cute little ear...


Although I suppose it's pretty obvious, isn't it? It's a baby raccoon!

I was watering the front plants the other morning, contemplating taking some video of the bees visiting the hydrangea blooms, cursing the lawn chemical truck that was idling across the street. I decided the vehicular rumble would take away from the serenity of the video too much, so moved off to continue watering, and then the truck pulled away -- but then stopped in front of my house.

The driver called out to me and I walked over, expecting a sales pitch for a free lawn estimate.

"Hey, do you know anybody in Conservation?"

Hmm, not the most effective sales banter I've ever heard, but certainly interesting.

"Conservation, why?" I replied, mentally preparing my arguments against having chemicals dumped on my yard, regardless of the special offers that may be forthcoming.

"There's a baby raccoon in your neighbor's yard. I don't hear the mother calling for it. I'm sure it's going to die during the day."

"Nobody is home over there?" I asked. Baby animals usually mean either a lot of work, an expensive "donation" to a shelter, or lots and lots of worry. I was not unwilling to accept these challenges, but I was not eager for them at the time.

"No, I can't get hold of them. Can you call somebody? Do you have a box?"

"Sure, I'll be right over." I went for a box, while he turned the truck around and waited for me at the neighbor's.

It was fairly obvious that this was the tree that the mother was probably sleeping in:

This is where the baby was found, a little ways down the hill:

Completely exposed, and too small to climb all the way back up. So into the box it went, to spend at least a few hours in my cool, dark basement as I waited for the nearby animal rescue shelter to open.

Tiny ears, tiny tail, tiny everything!

When the animal shelter called me back, they said that the best thing to do would be to keep the baby safe and cool for the day, then put the box at the base of the tree around dusk. They explained that mother raccoon sleeps during the day and an active youngster may fall out of the nest without mom even knowing. When she wakes up at the end of the day she'll be looking for it though, and that's when you want to get them back together.

They also mentioned that "all of the shelters in the area have more baby raccoons than they know what to do with right now", which I guess meant "we can't take it".

So it would be up to me (or my neighbors) to make this reunion happen.

Here's the little one in action:

The neighbors came home a couple of hours later, so I explained what the rescue center said to do, and left the box with them for the day. It was going to be their responsibility to put the box under the tree that evening, so it didn't make sense for me to babysit the pup for the day.

I haven't heard yet if the reunion was a success, or if something terrible happened -- and I'm not sure I want to know. Encounters with baby wildlife don't always end happily, but I'm going to assume this one did.

So that's tiny things post #1. Check back tomorrow for the next installment!

(I had one previous experience with baby raccoons back in 2008, and I don't think I've ever posted about it. I'll have to write that up someday.)


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Rock rose  – (May 28, 2012 at 11:55 AM)  

Ah! I hope you get good news about the safe return of the baby which will depend upon whether the neighbors the neighbors went "Ah, sweet little baby"

Christine  – (May 28, 2012 at 12:08 PM)  

Awwwww .... very cute. Love the video of it. I hope it has been reunited with its Mom.

Poet Whale Studio  – (May 28, 2012 at 3:49 PM)  

Aw,the poor kid is hungry. I think they can nurse when mom is sleeping.

Hoping for good news tomorrow

Thank you for sharing the story

sandy lawrence –   – (May 28, 2012 at 5:02 PM)  

Well, kudos to the driver of the truck, even if he does pump chemicals! He could just have easily driven off and left the little guy to die. And kudos to you for your willingness to babysit 'til the neighbors got home. Hope they followed through with their leg of the journey back to mom and that there was a joyful reunion ... not to mention a nice, warm milk supper for Jr.

danger garden  – (May 29, 2012 at 12:28 AM)  

I agree with Sandy, great that the driver was so thoughtful...and good for you for doing your part. I'll just prefer to assume it all ended well.

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