The Hunt for the Wild Band of Wild Roving Raccoons, who are Wild

Posted: November 9, 2013 in Urban farming

According to Wikipedia, a sometimes excellent and a sometimes dubious source, the Orange Crush Interchange is a freeway interchange in the City of Orange, California, located near the traffic clogged mess of the cities of Orange, Anaheim, Santa Ana, and Garb…er, GARDEN Grove. Disneyland, Angel Stadium, the Honda Center (read, the POND), the UCI Medical Center, the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), Mainplace, and the Outlets at Orange are all located near the Crush. Heck, I can SEE this beast, as well as the hospitals, and the fireworks of Disneyland and Angel Stadium, from the roof garden. My point? This ain’t the country. This ain’t the ‘burbs. It’s as city as Orange County can get. (So, admittedly, not downtown L.A.) But, tonight? I’m on a raccoon hunt. It is dark, well, as dark as greater Los Angeles can possibly be, which I suppose isn’t all that dark…but, still, a raccoon hunt.

This entire enterprise has overtones of my stepdad trying to rid himself of THE woodpecker. THE woodpecker ensconced himself at the house and liked to start pecking at about 4AM. This was not welcomed. My stepdad attempted to rid himself of the pest. His capers included the spectacular snake endeavor, where he scattered rubber snakes all over the roof of the entire house, and the BB gun at 4 AM endeavor, where he hid in the bushes clothed only in combat boots, boxer shorts, and BB gun refills. Both attempts were spectacular failures. A news chopper immortalized the ‘snake roof’ on the 5 o’clock news and the pool guy who surprised the ex-Navy SEAL hiding in the bushes hasn’t stopped running 20 years later. But, the woodpecker was finally vanquished. By a plastic Godzilla nailed to the edge of the roof. Let’s face it. That woodpecker was no fool. His opponent was getting more and more desperate. Woodpecker decided to cut his losses before it was too late. One can see how Woodpecker was the only one to survive the Great Flood in Chumash legend. Shortly after this success, a plastic Godzilla appeared on our neighbors roof. Evidently, they were having woodpecker issues.

Tonight, there are grates on the raised beds. And the light is on over the aquaponics system. The chickens are housed. Koga and I are hanging in the back of the house. Waiting for the telltale patter of raccoon feet on the roof. Bam! Bam! Fireworks from Disneyland fill the sky. A freight train rumbles by on the track at the end of the road. And rumbles. The window panes at the front of the house rattle slightly. Bam! Rumble. It is amazing that wild raccoons will come anywhere near this ruckus. Screeee. The train finally passes by. A few years back I was headed out early- about 430 or so when everything around here is actually still. I walked out the front door stumbling for the rental truck and the Starbucks near us that opens at 5AM. A large dog was standing across the street staring at me. Nope- not a dog. A coyote. Probably Coyote, himself. I’m not sure who was more startled. We both agreed to go about our business. He loped off and I climbed into my rental truck. Coyote was a reminder that even though this is city, we live near Santiago Creek, which runs all the way into the mountains. Continuously. And even though this is city, there are still residents other than people and their domesticated animals. There just isn’t room in this city for us and for the wild band of roving wild raccoons who are wild. Honestly, my money is on the raccoons…unless we can find a Godzilla.


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