With spring comes the return of our animal friends. While the deer never really left, we are seeing more of them at once. One night, we counted 12 deer in our yard, nibbling on the bright green clover.
The wild turkeys are back, and I’m excited to see their babies this year. I’ll be sure to try to get a picture of them this year, since there were 13 at the beginning of last year and that number got lower every day until there were only 5 left.
I’ve also seen a few red tailed hawks in our yard, but I’m hoping they’ll leave the baby wild turkeys alone this year, or at least that I won’t witness them grabbing one again!
Most importantly, I saw a rabid racoon yesterday. I spotted it walking in the back yard in the daylight, and my immediate thought was rabies. It walked right toward the house, wobbling all the way, clearly disoriented. When it got close, I banged on the window and it didn’t stop or look up, showing no reaction to the sudden noise. Although it wasn’t foaming, it clearly was sick and I diagnosed it with rabies. I called Ed and asked him to bring home a gun (from his parents’ house, I don’t like them here) to shoot it, but it left our yard. It walked up our driveway, crossed the street and went toward the neighbor’s house. I saw my cousin (who’s also our neighbor) and she said she’d call the animal control officer.
If you’re not familiar with wild animals, you should know that if you see a nocturnal animal like a racoon in the daylight, it’s probably sick. You should never try to approach a wild animal, especially if they are letting you get near them. Wild animals usually avoid people, and if they don’t, that’s a good sign there’s something wrong. Be sure to call animal control if you do see a sick animal. They’ll want to test it for rabies.
Finally, tick season is back in our area! If you are outside, make sure to check yourself later for ticks. I found one last week after we were outside all afternoon planting apple trees. Be sure to check all over, including in your hair. That’s where mine was. And if you can’t find them all yourself, take Brad Paisley’s advice and have someone help you.