Thursday, November 12, 2009

Coon Breeze

Last week I used a headwind to sneak up on some feeding raccoons in Devils Hammock. It wasn't hard to do. I simply walked quietly into the swooshing breeze and let it mask my sound and blow my scent behind me.

I didn't know my quarry would be raccoons. I kind of expected to see wild hogs, since it was very late in the day and the dirt track followed a swampy, pondy area. Devils Hammock is loaded with feral hogs and the swampy area is loaded with hog delights, so when the wind brought sounds of splashing ahead, I expected pigs.

Instead, I was treated to this coon feeding in the marsh. I crouched down and waited and the coon came steadily towards me.
At some point, it noticed me and disappeared. I thought I'd bungled a good opportunity by moving in too close. Then, after a moment or two of quiet, there was a bustling in a sweet gum tree nearby.

Turns out, it wasn't A coon, but three or four coons ... a family group. The light was so low by then, I had to use flash to get a sharp pic. My apologies for the laser eyes on these young coons.

After I got a shot or two, I switched over to video since it is more light sensitive and baby coons sure seemed to warrant a little video time.

I love the waggy tail of the adult coon in the tree. It was going gangbusters as they jockeyed for position, ... seeking safety in the tree cover, but needing to see what the strange creature was doing.

I watched them for awhile as the light faded and they watched me right back. When I had imposed on them enough, I turned and began hiking to the JEEP.

The wind followed me, blowing my scent far ahead, ... announcing my impending arrival to those with the nose to know.

In other news ... My soccer girls got clobbered in their first game against PK Yonge school in Gainesville. They played their first game (some of them literally first game EVER) in a steady downpour (thanks IDA) against a well oiled machine team.
We looked kinda rough, but we lasted til the 4th quarter before the 8-0 mercy rule took affect with a final goal by the excellent PK team.

Today, we have our second game, a home game against St. Frances Catholic School ... one of the best teams in our division. I'll let you know how it goes ...

Junior plays his last high school football game ever this Friday night. He's a senior and the final game has arrived. I'll have something to say about that too.

He will immediately switch over to basketball, so it will be even crazier around here because for some reason, basketball games have to go on at a 3 game a week pace.


Dani said...

Last high school football game ever?! Crazy!

((Hugs)) Sorry about the soccer game.

Miz S said...

Good for your girls, hanging tough in a hard game on a rainy field.

I'm digging the raccoon pics. They are such pests here in the city, but awfully appealing too with their little hands and their bold natures.

Pablo said...

Wow, trees with leaves! I've only come upon raccoons once in my woods. It was a family with youngsters out in the daylight.

Is it common that such mismatched teams get paired up like that? Are there not enuf teams/schools in the area to make the competition more equitable?

Deb said...

I've seen my share of lopsided games already. They are painful to watch, but congrats to your girls for hanging in there.

I'm also dreading the start of basketball. Long season, lots of games!

lisa said...

You are lucky it was coons instead, I hear that feral pigs are starting to become a concern and that they can be pretty nasty. We had a coon in the tree out front once when all the leaves were off the trees so we had a pretty good view of it! My son has opted out of basketball and decided on the ski club, should be interesting!

robin andrea said...

Nice to see your raccoon family. Those young ones are always so cute.

Sorry to hear about your team, but that's the inherent dynamic of competition. Someone always loses. But as long as they played well they learn that other fine lesson too.

Good luck to Junior on Friday.

Floridacracker said...

Thanks! I know, I can't believe we are at this moment.

Miz S,
They were mismatched, but did not give up. I like that.

Actually, there are not. We wind up going against private schools where soccer is a priority rather than a nonfootball curiosity.

Exactly ... long and lots of em.
Last one for me :)

Feral hogs have a reputation that is fiercer than their reality. They are not much of a personal threat, but they do shred the environment.

Yep, that is the name of the game. Somebody has to come out ahead. Survival of the fittest!

LibraryGirl62 said...

My son played his first high school soccer game EVER and they got beat 8-0 also. Oh, fills the time between baseball seasons :)

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Looks like a pretty healthy bunch there ... some of them down here are so scraggly.

Caroline said...

We had the last marching band color guard performance ever, yesterday's Veterans Day parade. (see blog).
We immediately switch over to drama and play practice which becomes lunacy as the performance approaches.
The charming young lady with the flag is ours.

my word verif. is that for all us parents with the players and the actors?

Kathy said...

Same for us...

I just found out that my middle schooler (only one in school) was named to the all-metro conference football team! We go next Weds for a group pic for the B'ham paper. Awesome! And on to basketball, where the games here are 2 or 3 a week. Crazy! It'll end just as baseball kicks off again! :)

Sayre said...

We've got raccoons in our neighborhood. One of our neighbors feeds them. The babies were born in the tree behind our house. We love them, but respect that they are wild animals.