Unlike the skunks, who stroll by every night all bold and leisurely, the raccoons sneak around in darkness. You might get up for a late-night pee and hear gnawing and chewing and noshing; and when you peer down from upstairs, there’s a raccoon emptying the bird feeders. Or you might be sitting by the window enjoying a cool breeze from the night garden and hear furtive rustlings; and when you shine a flashlight out to see, there’s a whole family of raccoons reflecting the light with bandit eyes and backing away with soft, open-mouthed hisses. Or perhaps on a night when the light is no more than a sliver of moon that set with the sun, they decide to trash your little scrap of pond.
The chaos they leave makes me sure that the presence of zippy little guppies in the tub drives them crazy. I hope it makes them crazier that even if they caught any, there’s plenty more guppies in there, swimming around trading war stories about frantic raccoons. And making more guppies.
While the water lilies get torn up, raccoons really chomp the water hyacinth. There’s only a plant and a half left, but it grows so fast, it will be smothering the tub again in a few weeks. They can eat all the water hyacinth they like. And despite the mess, the plants will grow back. Already, after all their destruction, right out the biggest chomp taken from a water hyacinth, a damselfly paused to sun itself. Raccoons are none of its concern.