We here in the boonies know enough to put our bird feeders away for the summer, because bears will lay waste to them. But a few of us set them out by day and take them in at night, which works well as long as we actually follow the plan and bring them in at night.
Yesterday, I hung the feeder in the center of my fenced garden. Last night, I forgot to bring it in.
Around midnight, there was a crash. Then there was another crash. Of course I immediately remembered the bird feeder and flew out of bed, down the stairs, grabbed a flashlight, out the door in my birthday suit (plus muck boots, of course)… at which point I sorta crept past the cars in the driveway and shined my weak little beam onto the garden, where I could just make out the bird feeder swinging back and forth.
Then I saw three sets of eyes looking at me – one atop the shed, one atop the side of the pipe building that surrounds my garden, and one atop the bird feeder.
Okay. Not bear.
So I walked up to the garden, finally getting close enough to see the masked faces and disappointed eyes. Two of the raccoons left immediately. The third sat in the watermelon vines trying to look invisible.
I said, “I think you should leave now.”
He got up and walked slowly down the edge of the raised beds, climbed up the box wire, and was gone.
I took the feeder down and shoved it in the kitchen. It’ll go back out this morning, and, God willing, I’ll remember to take it in tonight.