While out gardening Monday I kept hearing a low trilling sound which I thought must be some sort of bird. Then suddenly I spied two little furry bodies clambering unsteadily over the rocks of the artificial stream that feeds our fishpond. Baby raccoons! Only an arm's length away from me, they finally registered my presence and retreated under some lumber stacked back behind the workshop. Could they be orphans? The question arose because, to put it as delicately as I can, something "passed" beneath our house, a fact that became pungently obvious late Saturday. However, a web site informed us that raccoon babies will venture out by themselves in the daytime while their mama is sleeping, so apparent orphans may not be so. We did offer cat chow which they eagerly consumed, disappearing shortly after into their lumber for the rest of the day. On Tuesday they put in no appearance, and we assumed they were gone. Then once again today while I was gardening, I heard that by-now distinctive trilling sound and there they were!
This time, after their cat chow repast, they hung out by the stream, once even venturing around the corner into the open door of the workshop, all the while trilling to each other. They climbed down into the shallow stream bed, explored around the rocks and the flower pots, and had a good long nap cuddled up together. Cuteness off the Richter scale! And does it cut into the amount of gardening you can get done when you have to snatch up your camera and go have a peek at them every few minutes. As long as I moved silently and smoothly, I could get quite close to them. It was all I could do not to touch a finger to their fur. Finally late in the afternoon, they roused themselves, had another bite to eat and retired once again into their lumber abode. If they are orphans, they seem to be surviving. I added grapes and apple to their menu; tomorrow I'll see what else they might enjoy.