Sunday, August 30, 2009

Peeping Tom

I had written earlier about the Raccoons that frequent the neighborhood. Well, where there was one, there are now many. The earlier visitor has now built a family of four or five, but I get ahead of myself.

One night this week we heard a few sounds from the Koi Garden and wondered what they were. We had thought it might be a neighbor rustling around his yard?; Maybe a late night party in the other neighbor’s yard?; Looking out the window of the third story of our townhome, we looked through the branches of the plum and pear trees that line the Koi Garden, straining our eyes to see someone on the ground below, first in one neighbor’s yard, then the next... Nothing…

As I was about to give up, I changed my focus and slowly noticed something much closer. Not ten feet out my window, at my own level high above the ground, I saw the reflections of two small eyes looking directly at me. They belonged to a small Raccoon, sitting in the tree. The plum and pear trees are full of good pickings this time of year and the Raccoon was taking advantage of a bounty. That was what this chap was doing, sitting there eating a pear.

I thought about trying to take a picture of the interloper from the bedroom, but decided against it since I would need a flash, and the window between us would make that impossible. I then ventured outside into the Koi Garden to catch the bandits red handed from there. That’s where the photography problems began.

When I left the house, camera in hand, the motion sensitive flood lights made their presence known; first at the parking strip and then in the Koi Garden. Each of them is set to turn flood lights on when motion occurs in their space. And flood lights they are. Those four lights have enough brightness to almost blind a person, especially when you are trying to maintain night vision to see our little noise makers. Every time I moved they would go off, thereby blinding me for the next few minutes. I tried to stay motionless to not upset either the motion detector or the raccoons. That did not work, especially when I was trying to get the camera adjusted to take a shot in the dark.

Consequently I was only able to get this photo. It shows only one of the four pairs of reflected eyes. The rest of the family of interlopers is as yet unrecorded.
For the non believers out there I have added an additional photo of the cast-offs of a delightful night of fruit for the poachers.

I am certain I will get additional opportunities for proof of this family of bandits as there are plenty of plums, cherries and pears still ripe for them to enjoy.

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