The Coons Go On An Adventure

While my photography doesn’t give evidence of it, a mother and 4 kits were involved in this siting.

My “whimsical friend” described the raccoon mating cycle like this:

During the whimsical season of summer, raccoons embark upon their enchanting mating rituals. These cunning creatures engage in romantic escapades from mid to late summer. Ah, the dance of love!

And behold, the magical outcome of their passionate encounters! After a gestation period ranging from a swift sixty to seventy-four days, a joyous event unfolds. The raccoon family welcomes the arrival of their delightful cubs, up to four in number. Oh, the adorable offspring that grace the world!

As the days pass and the sun gently caresses the earth, the baby raccoons undergo a wondrous transformation. Their curious minds awaken, and their eager eyes and ears open wide, revealing the wonders of their surroundings. This enchanting sight typically occurs around eighteen to twenty-four days after their birth.

With each passing moment, the young raccoons grow stronger and more adventurous. They embark upon their own playful journeys, discovering the realm around them. In a mere span of four to six weeks, these remarkable creatures find their footing and embark on their first steps, exploring the world with their tiny paws. Oh, the marvel of nature’s progression!

Thus, we witness the circle of life unfolding in the raccoon kingdom. From the fervent mating season to the birth of their precious kits and the swift development of these young ones, the raccoons teach us the beauty of growth and the wonder of life’s ever-changing tapestry.

Neglected Baby?

When I walk, I see all manner of things. I have seen a heavily tattooed lady with a photographer getting glam shots with the train tracks as a backdrop. I have seen birds of prey along the train tracks who were apparently killed somehow during that interaction. And, when I see people pushing their dogs (either small or old) in “pet movers”, I still pinch myself. A few weeks ago, I think I saw a mother pushing a baby carriage (or a pram for those who watch streaming shows taking place in England).

As I was nearing the long stretch of path along the train tracks, I was certain I saw a mother with an old-fashion style baby carriage. It was not one of those that allowed mothers to walk/jog while the child faced forward and had no contact with the mother. (Yes, sometimes it is the father, but mothers (or nannies?) seem to get “child walking” duty most often than the men.) As they turned off the path, I thought, “Maybe I will see them again when I turn off on that same road.” Well, I didn’t. I did find the toy pictured above at the entrance to a neighborhood. It was not “dropped” on the rock. I set it there, hoping the “mystery mom” would find it and reclaim it. And, if it were too filthy to reclaim, maybe she would decide to remove the reminder of her previous carelessness. After a few weeks and being abused by the week of Texas winter, the toy remained unclaimed.

The bottle is another matter. Realizing the previous baby carriage may have been a pet mover with spa services (i.e. chew toys etc), I am not sure how to explain the bottle. The “mother who is staring at her phone and ignoring her child” is one possibility. My preferred theory is a weekend visitor who took a walk and failed to notice the bottle tumbling from the child. For this theory to hold true, a grandmother who may have been walking with the mother and child would have also ignored the child.

My parenting days were many years ago. I suppose I may have been too attentive to my kids. I can’t imagine being with my young kids and not noticing the loss of some dear toy or source of nourishment. This is not an indictment of parents today. It is a legitimate question. What is more important than keeping track of your kids? Based on the stories in the news, many parents today have a list longer than I did.

Todays Walk 1.006

When:  Late-afternoon Thursday
Weather: High 40’s!! Mostly cloudy with very limited sun

  • Abbreviated walk: I was a little bit sick today.  Not horribly sick, but enough that my voice made it impossible to hide.  I chose not to take the extra leg I have been taking to try and get my walk over 4 miles.  If I wrote “abb wk”, it would have been abbreviated, but it would have left the impression I was doing lots of situps this week.
  • Multiple leaf drops:  My daughter has raked twice. I have raked once.  And, we are fixin’ to need one more raking.  The neighbor has not raked at all.  I am sure we are getting some of her leaves introduced into our yard as an ongoing gift.  The pine needles were heaviest in the earlier drops.  The rain visited before the last raking.  The trash man felt those as he threw them in the back of the truck.
  • Animal droppings:  It seems not everyone is capable of cleaning up after their dog.  I know many do, but a few don’t.  Possibly, I am falsely accusing the innocent.  There are coyotes, bobcats, and other various creatures running around.  If I cared to learn my “skat”, I might be able to determine which critter owns what.  I feel confident I can identify most dog droppings.  There are other “leavings” that seem to be composed of hair.  The most interesting one is a dropping containing numerous “pumpkin seeds”.

Todays Walk 1.002

When:  Before dinner on December 31st
Weather: Cold with very limited precipitation
Companion: Oldest Daughter

This walk was all about checking the roads.  The morning roads were not so kind.  The freezing rain peaked mid-morning–just as we were going-to/leaving church.  My oldest daughter had been very excited about the New Year’s Eve party her friend had planned.  The slipping experienced during the morning caused my wife to cancel the plans the adults made to spend time with friends.  (They live about 30 miles away.)  The adults didn’t want to let my daughter party if the adults didn’t party, so my wife canceled her activities as well due to the weather.

This walk was meant to prove the roads were fine and she should be able to drive to the party.  Besides some excellent conversation with my sassy daughter, we did not have exactly the results she was hoping for.  The roads may have had some minor moisture.  As she desperately sought to gain my vote, she ran toward the road and rapidly stopped.  She didn’t slip, so the roads must be safe.  Right, dad?

The roads were the easy part. As part of the walk we went over a bridge.  It was the bridge where the concern came about.  (It was bridges where most of the excitement occurred this morning. )  The bridge caused here to slip as she crossed it.  Her excuse of, “not being able to walk and talk” did not convince me.  (I consider driving and talking to be more difficult.)  Additionally, when I went to get pizza, I slipped a little.  I told her if she could come up with a route WITHOUT bridges, I might consider it.

Unfortunately for my daughter, my wife was shooting everything down.  In desperation, she came to me.  She sat on my lap and offered a scenario where she wouldn’t have to drive and I would ONLY have to drive one way.  I accepted the terms.  My wife took more convincing.  When I argued the case on her behalf, my wife relented.  After her friend’s dad agreed to bring her home, the energy flowed back into my daughter.  She knows she owes me.  And, with her graduating this from high school in 2018, it is good to have some favors in the bank.

Happy New Year!