<iframe src=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/nikopol_to/3667758251/in/photolist-6A7dKe-ktanL8-bDCjw-aj3Uq-dCm797-a87vAg-gevmsd-eQqFJq-iAa7qw-6u1N4F-4RigeD-giDBxn-8sVxzi-dfnVWr-f7rnW-cnizbJ-bNZrJk-kpxds-81rMCR-cncZms-aFQXBD-gwTfNi-aFQXBt-gfqUVT-ncs9Qg-nujYCD-ndEAbP-aFQXBx-arvXQC-nugh9a-5RgCoj-fqS3hD-72KV7R-89YrA6-e3o3Do-a5jv34-2iw6rU-arPjpT-8a45q6-fzifAo-6u5WDd-dTt25E-arZmF5-djkTp5-o2jv4M-nXES35-5Dak6j-fukUXr-6Jc75k-5jTBYe/player/” width=”320″ height=”213″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe><br />n<br />nWalking up to the front door about twenty minutes ago, I see what looks like a cat walking past the door outside. As I start to open the door to scare it away, I realize it has a ringed tail. Raccoon!<br />n<br />nThe sound of the door opening spooked it enough so that it ran to the nearest tree and climbed up a few feet before stopping to stare back at me. Pretty masked face looking back at me.<br />n<br />nI won the staring contest and it climbed up the redwood, disappearing into the dark branches. Then I see another shadow skirt by toward the same tree. Two coons!<br />n<br />nI went inside and grabbed a flashlight and looked all around up in the tree. Finally I saw bright, round yellow eyes looking back down at me. Moving to a better vantage point, I saw both of the pairs of eyes, then the bodies. Went in again to get Penny out of bed; she wasn’t asleep yet. We go back out, spot them, and she finally sees them. But there’s not just two, there are three of them up in the tree. Wow, what a find! That’s pretty cool, having raccoons out front.<br />n<br />nGot me thinking later, though, that they might be coming around here because they are running low on water and/or food further out in the wilds. There has been some chatter in our neighborhood Nextdoor circles that coyotes have been spotted nearby. And there have been cats found dismembered after being out after dark.<br />n<br />nIf the reason we’re getting such wildlife so far into the suburbs is because of the drought, then that’s just sad. I really hope we all make it through, the human families as well as all the families of critters out there that depend on the rains, all the same.<br />n<br />n<em>Photo courtesy Flickr user <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/nikopol_to/” title=”flicker user nico”>Nico</a> via CC BY-NC-SA 2.0</em>