Saturday, October 16th, 2004 • 1 Comment on Destruction Junction
Sorry for not reporting back on the whoosh… fade… whoosh… fade… mystery noise. I hope no one was worried about me. Heh.
I was horrified to learn the noises were the result of construction equipment destroying trees to make way for a new road. I have seen the downing of trees about half a mile from my house in the past couple of weeks, but I didn’t realize the destruction was going to come quite so close to my back yard. As of yet, I still have a forest of green to look at behind my house, but I’m not entirely sure how much they’re going to take down to make room for the new (and unnecessary, as far as I’m concerned) road. It makes me angry. It makes me sad. It makes me want to buy forty acres and move to the country. Of course, there isn’t much country left anymore.
I’m also worried about my raccoon. For several months, I have been feeding a racoon that makes an almost daily appearance at my back fence. I know, I know, I shouldn’t feed the wildlife. Ahh… well, I’m not good at following the rules. I try not to be irresponsible about it, though. I don’t feed her every day and I don’t leave food in my yard (both so the dog won’t feel compelled to eat her and so she won’t get used to coming close to the house) and I don’t try to coax her to come near me. I know she needs a healthy fear of humans in order to survive. I’ve resisted naming her because names are for pets, not wildlife. Jay calls her Bandit. I call her raccoon.
Still, despite all my self-imposed rules, I take a ridiculous amount of pleasure in seeing that little face peeking between the slats in the fence. She shows up at almost the same time every day and if there isn’t anything for her to eat on the other side of the fence, she will sometimes come into the yard to look around.
Up until a few days ago, I thought I was only feeding one overly-friendly raccoon. While watching my raccoon eat some fruit I’d put out on Tuesday, there was a rustling in the underbrush. Another raccoon waddled out, snatched up a piece of apple and dashed back into the woods. Ahh… raccoon buffet. It was cute. Who knows how many raccoons may be enjoying my treats, but the one who comes by every day is the one I consider mine.
The problem with getting overly familiar with wildlife is that I worry when I don’t see my raccoon. I’m not out there every day at six o’clock looking for her, but I get a little concerned when I don’t see her for three or four days. Now that they’re chopping down trees and turning them into big piles of mulch so they can make a new road, I’m even more concerned. Where do the animals go when their woods are destroyed? It may be bad to feed the wildlife, but isn’t it worse to force them out of their home?
I see enough roadkill on the short drive to work, I worry that I’m going to see even more now. Those woods are filled with squirrels, birds, rabbits, foxes, turtles, and even deer. And my raccoon.
If I start talking about my funny-looking dog named Bandit, you’ll know what happened.