I had a most unusual sighting early in the morning a couple of summers ago.
To give you the bigger picture takes a bit of background information. When we bought our property, it was subdivided into 4-5 acre parts, and we built our home on the piece that had a slope to it so that we were able to daylight the basement. It also allowed us to put in a terrific water feature, a 75 ft. stream into a round 15’ pond. And to handle the water pumped back uphill, Dick put an ejector pump into the pond which has a by-pass on it to control the water flow in the stream.
It is probably September, not that I am sure of that, and I am an early riser. It is just getting light, the sun not yet thinking about poking its bright light over the mountains. As I walk through the rooms of the house, I check outside for movement of my “critters”, seeing nothing this fine morning. As I get into the kitchen to make my coffee, I see some movement around the pond from the slider on the deck. It looks like a dog, a German Sheppard, the coloring matches, what little I could make out. We had recently gotten new neighbors so I thought it could just be a new visitor scoping out the neighborhood. Then I saw the rings on the tail as it turned away, and realized that my morning visitor was the largest raccoon that I had ever seen. And it was planning on taking a dip in my pond.
It slowly lowered that big raccoon body into the pond and started swimming around in a circle. The pump sits in the middle of the pond in the deepest spot and the pipe and bypass valve run from the middle of the pond to the side nearest the house. As the raccoon swims around, it finally get close to the pipe, and pulls it sideways, tips the pump over and the bypass valve is pointing straight up, shooting water 10’ in the air. That raccoon left the pond so fast, it literally came out of the water and landed on all 4 legs in a single bound, or at least that is what it looked like. I was laughing so hard that I could barely reach over and turn off the pump by the switch on wall. That poor raccoon stalked the pond for a couple of minutes more and thought about checking it out for more fish (which we don’t have), so I turned the pump back on. My homemade fountain made the raccoon decide that he would rather look elsewhere for his breakfast. And my moment was gone, without pictures. I guess that you get so involved that the camera was the last thing that you think about. I am getting better now and reach for the camera at all opportunities.
Not my visitor of early morning, but 3 youngsters that were treed by accident when we mowed the yard while they were visiting the pond.