What a weekend!
Despite the 10' x 20' pile of snow still in the center of the deck, it was so nice out yesterday afternoon that Peb's and I had our first cocktail of the year out there. At one point with the Sun just blaring down on the two of us, the thermometer was reading 30 C, or 86 F which was just fabulous!
Now the one thing about Spring getting all sprung in the country? Critters!
At about 3:00am Saturday morning I woke up to the sounds of the pitter-patter of little feet, as in, little feet running across our roof! That can only mean one thing. Raccoons! I'd gotten a couple of them earlier in the week, but the others just spread out a bit and had been staying away. Obviously one of them felt the need to make our home, his home as well.
I needed to get him off of the roof, but shooting him off wasn't much of an option! That's where the old reliable pellet gun comes in! Not enough to do any "real" damage to the hide of a Raccoon for sure, but with enough accuracy and repetition, it should help motivate him along his merry way. It would also do slightly less damage to the shingles than say the .022, should an accident occur. The trick would be to get a few clean shots. No problem! The cave is a side split and there was no great mystery as to where the little bugger was trying to set up shop. Right at the upper and lower roof split, just at the back of the house. BINGO! Just four clean shots later, and I had a 'coon on the run on the roof. Now to just keep plugging away at hitting as close to the same spot as possible. All was going according to plan and I had him actually hanging right at the edge of the roof at one point! But a neighbours dog came running through and scared him right back up to the top once again.
With the dog long gone and the Raccoon definitely looking to get off of the roof, I backed down just long enough to give him a chance to do just that. About 20 minutes later, I went back out to check things out. Roof clear and tracks to the trees beside the house. Mission #1, accomplished. Mission #2 would be, to get the little bugger and take him down the road a piece! Somewhere that wasn't my home, looking an awful lot to him like his home too! So the neighbours were informed that hopefully shots would not be required, but that they should also set up the live traps just in case. If we catch him, we'll spare him his life and give him a new home in a far less lived in surroundings. But if a few day's pass and he's managed to avoid the traps, other "options" will definitely be brought to the fore.
Two other key points to this past weekend.
Firstly, I got a new toy! A big shiny red lawn tractor with 18HP and a 42" cutting deck! SahweeeeeeeeT !!! The local TSC was having one hell of a Managers Special on clearing out all of the floor models of everything! So this is a two year old machine that has been sitting on their floor @ $1899 for that entire time. I took it out to the back lot of the store and with a little quick fire shot down the carb to speed up the process, I managed to get the thing running in about one minute flat. All this thing will need is a good cleaning out of the gum and gunk in the carburetor, after all of that sitting around and doing nothing. Oh.... and the price?...... How about $900 cash and it was mine! I <3 big ticket items at 1/2 price !!!!! I got it home, did the clean up like I wanted to and shazaam! Fired at the first turn of the key! Can you say Bargoooooooon !!!!
The second item is on a much more personal note. When the hell did I get so chicken shit about being on a roof? Twenty years ago, I was still jumping off of a two storey building into a great big pile of snow with the kids! But yesterday as I was preparing to get some plywood up in the area the Raccoons had shown some interest in, I was shaking so much at just the prospect of leaving the relative comfort and security of my trusty old ladder, and setting foot upon that "dangerously slanted and slippery roof." Now I noticed as well, it wasn't the height. It was the thought of falling off the roof! A thought that had never crossed my mind before, on any of the dozens and dozens of roof's I'd ever been on before.
Don't worry, I didn't let it overwhelm me or anything. Just a little personal note to myself, that I may have actually done a small amount of aging over the last several years. Aging that seems to have caught me a little off guard as I attempted to do something that the kid in me, would have just flown right up and back down again to do only a few short years ago.
I know from years of living here in Bedrock, that I best not get my hopes too terribly high that the snow is almost once and for all done. Too many times has it happened, where one or two more Wintry blasts come late in March or early April, just to take one more kick at the cat. It sure looks, feels and smells like Spring is trying to make it's grand entrance once and for all. But I'll only truly believe it, when I have my Golf Clubs in my hands and I'm thinking about playing the back nine as well!
My sincerest thanks for dropping by....