Hi raccoon!  Don't be scared.  Don't burrow your nose in that tree.

Hi raccoon! Don't be scared. Don't burrow your nose in that tree.

Anyone heard of the game “Wildlife Adventure”?  The kids and I spent endless hours playing it when they were growing up.  Here’s the overview:  there’s a map of the world.  With animal names and pictures posted scattered from Siberia to Argentina.

After receiving your animal cards, you travel around the board with plastic arrows, attempting to reach “your” animals.  The goal is to find all your animals and win.

I want you to know that I feel like I’m playing “Wildlife Adventure” these days!  Like someone has handed me an invisible list of animals, and the goal is to photograph them all.

So today we have raccoon!  Isn’t he sweet? Isn’t he precious?  He (or she) appeared outside the kitchen window last night while I was doing dishes.  You’ve never seen such a leap!  I catapulted for the camera in one huge leap, shoved on boots, and dove out of the house in six seconds flat.

The surprised raccoon bolted as he viewed the crazy camera running after him.  He scooted up the tree, praying to the Raccoon gods, and I began the usual animal-crooning, “Don’t worry, fella, don’t be scared.  Just stay still for a second while we get a picture.  Get your nose out of that tree, won’t you?  Oh, c’mon, just one more photo and I’ll leave you in peace…”

And that’s not the only animal “card” collected recently:

Partridge in driveway (through car window)

Partridge in driveway (through car window)

I’m not sure if this partridge is my dear friend, the Dishwashing Partridge.  I have been attempting to photograph the Dishwashing Partridge since January.  This one is crafty.  It appears outside the kitchen window, only when I’m doing dishes.  It roosts on the same set of branches, pecking and preening and teasing me.  It’s teasing because I WANT a photo of Ms. Partridge, but she won’t comply.  The camera registers a fuzzy dot through the kitchen window, and if you try to even open the front door…whirrrr!…the partridge makes its usual whirring flap and disappears in a squawk of wings.

So who knows if it’s the Dishwashing Partridge or a distant relative?  I was just thrilled to see one this close before it ambled lazily up and over the snowbank into the woods.

Leftover vegetable scraps for the deer (under the oak tree)

Leftover vegetable scraps for the deer (under the oak tree)

I am suspicious that perhaps the raccoon or even Ms. Partridge might be munching away at some of the vegetable scraps intended for the deer.  What do you think?  Perhaps that’s why we’re having Animal Adventures these days.

Dangling feet off deck (about a six foot jump)

Dangling feet off deck (about a six foot jump)

Besides that, I spent part of my outdoor commitment dangling my legs off the deck in the 57 degree heat wave.  Can you believe it?  57 degrees!  Kind of makes you want to leap forward into spring…

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