Time to Check Out

Time to check out - Ellie Kennard 2014
Time to check out – Ellie Kennard 2014

There have been developments since the post and photograph by Steven Kennard, last Friday,

(First part is retold here from the original on Steven’s website https://stevenkennard.com/blog/archives/702  telling of our uninvited guest we discovered in the cupola on our roof.) I got this photograph of her the next day, leaving her accommodation for a snack. If I had examined this photograph closely, I would have seen something which would have given us a clue as to just how many residents we actually had. If you zoom in on the bottom middle section, you will see…. (I will let you discover it as I did.) She was not alone.

So, oblivious to the little clue, Steven and Tony carefully examined the cupola after she checked out and, seeing no signs of any other animals inside, they securely boarded up the opening. We then went out for an evening of photographing the sunset on the bay and a visit to friends. When we got back at night, it was absolute bedlam on our roof. You will have to see Steven’s post he will be making a bit later, to read what happened.


Steven has permitted me to share his photo and update from his post here:

Baby Raccoons - Steven Kennard 2014
Baby Raccoons – Steven Kennard 2014

And then…

“When we got back, pandemonium had broken out! There were screams from inside the cupola (they make a lot of noise for such cute little things) and frantic noises from the mother as she ripped and tore at the slats and board trying to get at her babies. (They must have been hiding within the rafters when we looked into the hole, so that we didn’t see any signs of them.)

“At 10:30 pm, therefore, in the dark, I was faced with the prospect of getting up on the roof with a frantic, protective big mother raccoon to try to unscrew the plank we had put over the hole. I didn’t fancy that much, but the thought of letting those babies starve to death while the mother tore all the shingles off our roof appealed less. What I did, in the end, as you can see, was to climb to the top of the ladder and use a long stick to force the two bottom slats off. This allowed the mother to get in (they flatten themselves to the size of a rug) and reassure the kits. She tried to get them to leave with her, but they wouldn’t go. This photo was taken 11:13 pm, in the pitch dark, with a work light illuminating the faces of these little masked bandits.

“Ellie is convinced that the mother knew that we were trying to help and did not represent a threat, which was why she did not attack me.

“And Finally

“For those who want to know how we finally managed to get our guests to vacate, the secret was simpler than we could have guessed. They apparently hate rock music. So we put a radio in the bedroom under the cupola, turned our local rock station on full blast and left it on. Within 1 hour she was moving them out. With a lot of complaining and fussing the babies eventually must have followed her over the roof and down the crab apple tree to seek a quieter neighbourhood.  They are wild animals. They will be happier in the wild as we will be happier with them in it. (They look soft and fluffy, by the way, but their fur is actually very coarse and stiff even as babies.)”