Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Camping - Lesson 2 - Raccoons

We've done a lot of camping, and we know the routine pretty well. Raccoons do not raid campsites during the day. So we thought it was OK to leave our food on the table while we took a 30 minute walk around the campground.

We returned to find our marshmallow bag on the ground. Inside the brown paper shopping bag holding the non-perishable foods was a bag of hot dog buns that had been mutilated. Nearly every bun was torn, though most were still in the plastic bag. The bag was full of holes. The same was true of the marshmallows. And the bag of taco chips.

Oldest son walked to the camp store to get more hot dog rolls and marshmallows, and I pondered the raid. It seemed obvious it was birds. I had seen a pair of Canada geese heading towards our site while we were exploring the other side of the pond, so I thought it might have been them. I grinned picturing the big birds up on the picnic table, reaching their long necks into the bags.

The following morning I caught the crows actually working over our table. I hadn't left out anything worth their while, but they did peck holes in the plastic bag over our clean dishes, and the holes looked very familiar. I managed to catch two of the five on film.

Later that second day the golf cart used by the camp ground staff had on the dashboard a bag of hot dog rolls that had been pecked to death, like ours. It was a different brand, so it wasn't our bag. On the last morning an empty white bread bag blew into our site. It also bore numerous ragged holes.

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