I was in my kitchen, packing my lunch for the day, when I looked out the window and saw these two fellas (though, sorry, I know they could be ladies...) scampering about along our left fence wall.
Now, we get our share of bunnies in the backyard, but this is the first time I'd been able to catch a couple of raccoons back there. Instantly, I thought of my garden. Oh no! They're going to kill it before it even has a chance to live! I was quite dramatic over the whole ordeal.
So I grabbed my camera, went outside, and surprised the little guys.
They froze when they first saw me, but otherwise just went about their business. I followed them around the yard for a couple of minutes until they retreated down the stairs toward the lower garden level.
(As you can see, one of them was a little more camera shy than the other)
Once they reached the garden area, they sniffed around a bit at my little seedlings. I went into crazy old lady mode then and shuffled after them, shouting "Shoo! Shoo!" I am quickly becoming 85 years old.
After such a serious threat from the old lady, the little 'coons found an exit and ran out to the alley, filled with trash cans that would be much more fun to explore than our yard.
But that wasn't the last of them! After they skedaddled the first time, I decided to take the opportunity to water the garden and the flowers out back (at 6:15 in the morning. See, I told you I am 85). Shortly thereafter, I heard a familiar chattering growing louder and louder behind me. Those little critters had come back! After about five more minutes of following them around and herding them out back under the fence again, they were gone.
And that's the story of my first two raccoon visitors.
Let's move on to the "business in the front" action.
A couple of weeks ago, I shared our new shutters with you. Well, the majority of our new shutters. I asked for advice on how I should go about balancing out that noticeable difference with one of the shutters forced to be left out because it didn't fit that side of the window next to the awning.
Without taking the steps to do anything too permanent, we hemmed and hawed over exactly how to mask that empty area. Our solution as of now is this:
We attached a two-tiered hanging basket to the outside of the awning to cover the blank space. It looks a little spare now, but once the flowers grow a bit more and become more full, I'm hoping it will mask the un-shuttered side a bit more.
We didn't want to do anything too permanent or structural because there's a chance we may expand the porch a bit more so we didn't want to do anything too hasty in the moment. So, in the spring and summer, we'll hang some pretty Go-Go Begonias, like the kind we have there now.
And we'll possibly throw in some greenery in the planters in the winter.
We like the solution for now. It will do just fine in this situation, and I think having something hanging in that space balances out the house a bit more.
I would've asked the raccoons' opinions, but they were too busy plotting out their next ambush of our garden....