Comparisons and phobias

Ranunculas, like the one I attempted to transplant

Digital photography is a wonderful thing, no question, but because I am so challenged by technology, I’ve never worked out a satisfactory way of archiving the enormous numbers of images I have collected of cats in particular and animals in general.

I know I had many pictures of the raccoon families that visited my home back in Washington. But I can only find two and they are not the best.

Which is annoying because some of them were really cute but also because I wanted to show the difference between a Pacific Northwest raccoon and a New England raccoon.

Totally unscientific, of course.

In Washington, raccoons seemed to be around all the time. I suppose they didn’t have great food resources, as their habitat was dwindling more each day.

There were some very tall trees on my property, and the raccoon family was always disappearing up the one outside my bedroom window.

There were usually 4 or 5 babies and their mum had trouble rounding them up, but eventually they either went up the tree or to a scrub area across the road.

I probably worried as much about those babies as their mom did.

The babies loved to play in that piece of plastic pipe. I used it for protecting their food from the weather.

Contrary to popular opinion, it does not always rain in Seattle, and my summers there were mostly dry.

But I must have seen wet raccoons out there.

And they never looked like this!

I was immediately interested when this poor bedraggled specimen showed up at the end of May, because apart from anything else, I had never seen one in daylight here before.

Pancho, the killer cat, was responsible for scaring off a lot of wildlife, but I don’t think raccoons are afraid of cats.

Maybe these just preferred to keep the peace.

The poor scrap showed up again next evening, still decidedly damp. She appeared to have lost a lot of hair from her coat, as if she had been in a fight.

But there was nothing wrong with her appetite.

Grant thought we should supplement their diet to help them during birthing season.

However, it was my intention to compare the raccoons of New England with those in Washington, so here is a dry New Yorker, with a full complement of fur.

Facially, they are different, in colour and also the NE guys appear to have sharper noses.

Like all the other furry wildlife around my home, they have a reddish tinge. This one’s face reminded me of a Lesser Panda.

We haven’t seen any babies yet, or heard them. They always chatter noisily!

As well as the raccoons, we have been watching the squirrels a lot lately, mostly because we have been on the lookout for Gimpy who hasn’t been seen since May 15th.

One more comparison:

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Those two are definitely distinct species, but we also have a great variety of the larger squirrels:

Those nine squirrels are all different, as far as I can tell from checking ears, colouration, etc.

Now we have: Tiny Red, Little Red, Red, and Half Red. Gray, Red Ears, White Tummy, Bleach Boy (bottom left) and Peach. Curly Tail, Flat Tail….

Some of the “regular” squirrels are very small but not like Adirondack Red; so, are they babies (don’t think so) or just small and how did all these varieties of colour and tail arrangements happen?

I’m not sure which one belongs to this tail, but isn’t it lovely?

Now to “Russell”. First of all it’s a pretty silly name for such a creature but it’s a variation of Lazarus.

Lazarus rose from the dead, right? Well that’s why this chap is Russell. Because he did too. I think.

Scream. I am arachnaphobic. Intellectually, I know this creature won’t cause me injury or any kind of harm. He has far more to fear of me. But SCREAM.

I’ve been working on my phobia, though, and I can even pick little ones up now, to save them from drowning or from one of the cats. This one… a bit too big and scary looking.

However, I would never hurt a spider and this little guy was in the kitchen a few days ago, so I was just keeping an eye out so I didn’t actually touch it.

But next day it was in the sink, all tucked up and dead-looking. It had somehow got itself into an empty cat food container. I figured it couldn’t have been there long because we always clean those things up after breakfast.

So I fished him out and laid him on a bit of paper towel.

When Grant came upstairs I told him what had happened and, looking at the spider, he said, “it’s dead”. I think he thought I might have made it that way! But I had a feeling it might revive, so we left it out of harm’s way to give it a chance. When we came back….gone. And now there is a very much alive spider, just like the one I took the picture of, living in the kitchen somewhere.

I looked him up. He’s some kind of jumping spider. Oh my Lord!

4 thoughts on “Comparisons and phobias

  1. Oh my, that tail!
    I loved all the photos!
    My husband calls me me ‘the spider rescuer’ as if I see one in the house I very gently put it in a wet paper towel and put it outdoors! (my husband is very afraid of spiders, LOL)

  2. I hope we may see the babies. The ones we saw in Washington were so funny and so sweet. Wish I could have visited your part of the World. You have nice animals too…and pictures!

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