Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

All Along It’s Been Raccoons

All along it's been raccoons

All along it’s been raccoons

©Bert Gildart: Each day our bird feeder here in Montana’s Flathead Valley sees lots of activity, and over the past few months we’ve counted no fewer than 30 different species. In fact, there are a few species one wouldn’t expect to see, such as the Turkey and the Pileated Woodpecker .

Recently we’ve been concerned that the turkeys have been taking more than their share of the feed. Several mornings, in fact, we’ve found the seed completely consumed and the grated container holding the suet empty. Five days ago we found one of the plastic windows on our octagon-shaped feeder cracked.

Wow, we said, a bit angrily, the turkeys have really been going at it.

We may, however, have been accusing the wrong critter, for at 5:30 this morning I discovered a new species, one we’ve not seen since we moved from the nearby town of Kalispell 12 years ago, and into the country. What I discovered was a raccoon. In fact, as my eyes adjusted to the night light, I discovered not just one, but three; three huge ones.


They were bold animals, and when I turned on the porch light, tapped on the widow, and peered through the blinds, they simply stared back. That’s when I ran back to the bedroom got Janie, got my camera, and then yanked open the sliding door out onto the deck. Immediately my actions created pandemonium, for the home security alarm went off, the three raccoons–one on the deck and two on the banister–clawed their way onto the adjacent tree and then began descending.

Meanwhile Janie was calling out that she didn’t have her glasses on, couldn’t see the numbers on the panel to neutralize the security system, now ringing throughout the house. Worse, we knew our alarm system would soon notify the Sheriffs office, our neighbors, and the office of the ADT Security System that a trespass was in progress.

But I persevered and managed to snap a quick picture, documenting that sometimes the turkeys are not the culprits. Shortly thereafter I found my glasses, neutralized the security system but not quite soon enough, I fear–for we only have 60 seconds. Now we’re waiting for a call from the Sheriff’s office–and I can’t wait to tell him our story.

One Response to “All Along It’s Been Raccoons”

  1. Kimmy Says:

    Oh Bert this is hillarious! I bet the little buggers were laughing all the way back to their home. lol The turkeys must be ecstatic that the real kulprits were found. They can claim innocence again. Well maybe they’re not so innocent. lol