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Old 11-20-2008, 11:07 PM   #21
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connie, that's an important warning to heed, about wild animals. anyone who's ever lived or worked around any kind of animal, domesticated over millenia or just last week, know that they have a biting defense when scared.

ok, another coon story. you asked for it itk.

years ago one fall, i was tent camping in harriman state park in ny with an old girlfriend, at tiorati plateau. it was a short hike up a road and over a hill from the parking lot, to a few acre wooded flat, with evenly spaced tent sites.
it wasn't real camping or backpacking, so i'd always called it "gourmet" camping. because of it's proximity to the road, most people would make several trips back and forth to the car, carrying in lots of weighty gear, huge tents, cots, and coolers full of food, drinks, and other non-backpacking types of stuff.

anyway, after the sun set this one particular evening, when the matrix of campfires acros the plateau were being started, my girlfriend and i decided to hike down to the lake to wash up and carry out our garbage. i'd figured there'd be lots of little critters (mice, squirrels, chipmunks, racoons, etc.) poking around each of the campsites all night when the fires died down.

over thr ridge on the path down to the lake, when we'd gotten away from the ambient light of the fires and lanterns and it had turned pitch black, my girlfriend had an eerie feeling the we were being watched. grasping my hand tightly, her fear travelled through my arm, and i began to get spooked with the same feeling. each step was like walking into one of those friday the 13th movies.

suddenly, something dropped from a tree just as we passed it, and made a sickening sound of something sort of popping/craking as it hit the ground and rolled in front of us. i jumped into my girlfriend's arms as we screamed, training the flashlight on what appeared to be a bloated human skull!

she ran like the dickens back up the path, until i was able to make out that it wasn't a skull, but someone had carved a skull's likeness into a smallish-pumpkin, and that feeling of being watched was from a dozen or so racoons that were perched in the trees, awaiting their nightly assault on the campgrounds. apparently, one of the coons' scouts had stolen a pumpkin and brought it back to the troops, and us hiking past in the dark had startled him and caused him to drop his purloined pumpkin.

we laughed as i told her to put me down , and then marvelled at all of the eyeballs in the trees glowing back at us from our flashlights.

in nomine patri, et fili, et spiritus sancti.
beidh ar la linn.
wisdom is often in short supply within ones' ego.
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Old 11-21-2008, 06:49 AM   #22
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Great! Enjoyed how you described your experience! I do believe you have gift buckytom and I do appreciate your gift of writing. It is so wonderful that you can recall these times and know that they are available to you at any time. You do recall these things because they have left a deep impression. I think this incident would make anybody scared. Did you stay overnight or did it make you want to go home? When something happens that scares me, only place I want to be is in my house where I can close the door.

Raccoons must be pretty plentiful as to how many people observe them. When I used to go to the Farmer's Market here, lot of people would eat raccoon. My mother had told me they are very greasy. Does anyone know about eating them? Neighbor I once had even trapped the squirrels in his yard and ate them. I think not everything is eatable. One thing you surely don't have to worry about the food t hey eat.

Thanks buckytom for sharing.

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Old 11-21-2008, 11:52 AM   #23
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People will eat a lot of things when they are hungry, and raccoon is one of them. The meat is so dark it's almost black, and very greasy. Most people cook it in BBQ sauce. Down in Louisiana, they sometimes sneak it into gumbo.

Fried squirrel is actually quite tasty. Squirrels are vegetarians, unlike their cousins, rats, who will eat anything.

Our coon was back this morning, munching on the persimmons that are falling from the tree just outside the window.
We get by with a little help from our friends
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Old 11-21-2008, 12:19 PM   #24
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When we were working at camp, one night at our staff meeting we decided to all go outside and enjoy the view and sing songs. We stood or sat on the porch facing the tall trees that grew on the slope down to the ocean. As we were singing a particular song we closed our eyes and heard a scampering noise - I (and others) opened my eyes to see a raccoon scooting down the tree and on down towards the beach. I didn't think our singing was THAT bad! LOL!

So, Constance, maybe you should get some people to go sing outside and chase the raccoon away!
"Variety is not just the spice of life, it is the key to life" - Chef Michael Smith

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Old 11-21-2008, 07:33 PM   #25
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He would definitely leave if I tried to sing!

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