I have become used to the skunk visiting our bird feeder each evening. I usually leave out just enough seed for her to get a few bites. Last night, though, we had a new visitor. It was about a half hour before dark, seemingly too early for most nocturnal animals. I think that this raccoon must have been trying to beat the skunk to the bird seed, deciding that Jeff and I weren't too much of a risk compared to the yummy sunflower seeds. The coon will have to rethink the whole risk theory if it repeats this night's shenanigans. After we watched it awhile, Jeff pecked on the window hoping to get me a better camera pose.
The coon, who was already a bit spooked from dogs barking in the distanced, ran away. That is where our troubles began. Evidently, since its last visit, Jeff had blocked up holes the lattice that covered the space under our porch.
Our porch wraps around the house, front to back and through the years has accumulated numerous small holes where rabbits or whatever have chewed through to enjoy the dry shelter under the porch. Lately, we have noticed the skunk using the porch as refuge whenever we have surprised it. We figured we were only one step away from the skunk taking up residence under our porch. We just couldn't let that happen so Jeff blocked the holes with bricks. Well, the raccoon evidently didn't know or remember about the bricks. What we didn't realize was that while we were peering out the bedroom window wondering to where the raccoon had gone, it was busy breaking through a new spot in the light wooden lattice. I eventually decided to go out and see if I could see any sign of the raccoon in the back yard or garden. I must have surprised it as it was coming back out from under the porch to give the bird feeder another try. It then ran around the side of the porch away from me. When I caught up with it, the coon had a hold of the lattice and was hurriedly trying to break off a piece near one of the blocked holes. I scared it so that the animal dropped the lattice making a loud "Slap!" as it snapped back against the porch support without breaking. The raccoon then ran off for the woods where it belongs.