Monday, January 5, 2009

Backyard Critters

Living in Florida, one must get used to being surrounded by all different kinds of wildlife. For some, this may be a reason to leave the state altogether, especially if you have an aversion to things that fly, slither, and jump. Imagine our poor Raquel, with her fear of frogs, surrounded by tree frogs through all the warm months. You obviously know by now that I love the ribbits, and have had nothing but good experiences with them. Well, if you consider having them jump on my head, or even one time my boob, while sitting outside a good experience. Or the time I opened the mailbox and one came flying out at me, only to land on my shoulder. The night of our neighborhood's Christmas party, Jimmy had one sitting on his jacket, looking just like a cute slimy lapel pin. He fairly freaked out and made me remove the little booger, which I did, laughing the entire time. He wouldn't even let me get a picture first. Baby!

But, this post is not really about froggies. Nope, it's just about some of the critters that often come to visit me while I'm sitting out here blogging, or reading emails. We rent this house and the back porch is not screened-in. Not good when living in a state that has mosquitoes bigger than your fist, but that's neither here nor there. I've had any number of animals come to say hello to me while sitting here. Frogs, toads, lizards, mice, possum, armadillo, and one time I even had a bat fly through my hair, hit the door behind me, and fly back the way it came.

I've always had an affinity for animals, but it has gotten stronger the older I get. My friend, Sinead, even went so far as to say that I exude some kind of aura to the universe (yeah, she's a bit quirky) that brings the animals to me. I don't think it has anything to do with my aura, but more that God just knows how I love the critters, and sends them my way so I can enjoy His creations.

My favorite furry critter that came to visit has got to be the one that found me sitting here just last week.

I was typing away, minding my own business, when I saw a shadow over my shoulder. I looked and there was nothing there. Then I saw it over my other shoulder. Looked, and awwwwwwwwwwww... there he was, the cutest raccoon ever. And standing not 5 feet away from me, near my grill! Luckily, I had my camera right next to me and was able to capture my new friend as he became familiar with his surroundings and this enamored human.

I did wind up throwing some crackers in the grass for him and he gobbled them up. I even had pictures of him holding a Ritz, but I accidentally deleted them off the camera. Sigh. I know what y'all are thinking. DON'T FEED WILD ANIMALS!!!!! Well yeah, I get that in theory, but put a fuzzy face like that in front of me and I just can't resist. So what's the worst that's going to happen? He's going to keep visiting me and expecting food. I can deal with that. He's already had plenty of chances to take a bite out of me, and hasn't done it yet. If he does, well, I'll deal with that too, because the experience of having him up close is worth it to me. He might bother my neighbors for food. I can certainly deal with that, as I don't really give a crap. Heeheehee.

He actually did come back and visit me last night, but I had no crackers for him. But this time he came right up to me. I'm talking 6" from my foot, he just sat there looking all cute and lovable. I realize I should have thoughts of rabies going through my head but well, I don't. I'm too busy taking pictures of him!

Now don't get me wrong. I do have some normal animal encounters in this backyard of mine. It's kinda weird though, how all that visit me have the gift of speech.

Until Next Time, Tiney

34 "Sister" Lovin' Friends Said:

  • Anonymous

    You are like Dr. Doolittle! OMG, 2 funny......I used to have 2 albino aquatic frogs. I would love to watch them swim around.

    I did have a bad experience with a lizard in FL, though. I was in my early 20's (a gazillion years ago) on Spring Break in Daytona and was all dressed up ready to go clubbing and walked out the front door of the condo a bunch of us were staying at when the a/c kicked on and a lizard ran out of the unit. Scared the shit out of me!

    We have tons of raccoons, possum, rabbits and squirrels and chipmunks in my neck of the woods. I also have an owl who visits me and watches from the garage roof.

    I love your pics of your raccoon, he's a cutie!

    Be good!

  • Ma'dame French

    You are one crazy chick! I would have run screaming like a sissy girl! OK maybe just quietly slithered inside inconspicuously;) We have plenty of critters here too and I am sad to say that I have gotten use to them especially the lizards they love the back deck;) Hey Set up shop in your garage stay out of the wilderness ;) French

  • SchmeckyGirl

    Aw he really is cute! I know it's hard to resist feeding them. Did you name him?

  • Happy To Be

    Oh Justine how sweet is this...I just love all critters..and I feed them all...I mean the deers, squirels have peanut boxes, the wild rabbits there is not a thing I don't feed up here on this mountain you know I loved this post..thanks for sharing...hugs and smiles Gloria

  • Stephanie

    You FED the RACCOON? Nooooooo!

    And plus, an assassin frog jumping out in full attack mode from the mail box would have been the final straw for me. I'd have fashioned a tiny little cross bow and gone hunting for slimy jumpy things. Mmm...frog legs. Well, actually, Mmm, the money I'd get from selling the carcasses to French people who eat frog legs.

    Because frog legs? Or the legs of any of the creatures you mentioned? The creatures themselves? YIKES.

    Then again, as a general rule, I usually don't like anything that's living.

  • Anonymous

    Oh I wish I could come and sit with you and see all that happening. I love animals too, and would be ecstatic if something like a fox or badger or even a hedgehog came into my garden. Alas, having two big hairy dogs makes sure that doesn't happen!

    I love mr Racoon - haven't you named him yet?

  • Life on Bonnie Lane

    Isn't this just too damn cute for words! Those pictures are just incredible. My former sister-in-law took in one of these as a pet when it was just a baby. The problem is that he grew up! They are smart little boogers for sure. He eventually escaped back into the wild.


  • Raxx - A day in the life

    What an enjoyable post! I would have run screaming from the porch at the first sight of the racoon! Oh Lord it's like an overgrown rat! I'm getting weak just thinking about it!

    And, clean those chairs! lol!!

    I bust out laughing that you dont care that a critter YOU encouraged my bug them! lol!!

  • sista #2

    I would have crapped my pants.


  • ~♥~ Monica S

    Aww I love Racoons... When I came to Minnesota for my year as an exchange student there.. my "mom" had adopted a baby racoon... lost and all alone.. she lived with us until she was old enough to make it on her own.. her name was Nicky and she was sooo adorable... she climbed the chairs and cuddled us all the time.. never once bit us. I think they are sooo cute!


  • Anonymous

    We lived in Valdosta, Georgia for 3 years...very close to the Florida border. We regularly had snakes in our backyard...which my boys loved, but I was terrified of!
    By the time we had been there awhile, I actually learned how to catch them with barbecue tongs and put them into a bucket to release into the wild. I was a regular Steve Irwin.

    I do miss those cute, green tree frogs though....I always thought they were good luck!

    Your raccoon visitor is quite a good looking critter, I must say:-)

  • Michelle

    You crack me up! I love all your little comments that the raccoon said. He really looks like he is starving! lol You might have a friend for live if you keep feeding him crackers. I am a sucker for animals I probably would have done the same thing. :)

  • mrsben

    This is such a cute post Justine....and your Southern Racoons are must smarter than ours, since yours can talk.

    We have lots of mature vegetation in our Neighbourhood so their are plenty of critters in our area. With new housing developments continously popping up, many are being expropriated from their natural habitat. Recently we have been visited by the most gorgeous gray rabbit, whom is enjoying his handouts of carrots. :)

    Thanks for my smile of the day!

  • Happy To Be

    GM Justine...thanks I think for coming by...and girl I thought I was on RMS for a minute when I read your comment about the fake fern..and my headboard is from the Rocco period 1880 and its 9 ft it like 11 years ago but could't bring it into my house until I added on the bedroom for it with 10 ft ceiling...told you I had a 1 room cabin here in the woods...been making it into a home now for 20 years..long time and many changes..hope you have a great day dear friend..hugs and smiles Gloria

  • Stephanie

    Psst. There's an award for you at my place.

  • Jill

    You still need to get him on video! He is really cute but his glowing eyes kinda... freaky!

  • Jill

    You still need to get him on video! He is really cute but his glowing eyes kinda... freaky!

  • niartist

    OMG! Still laughing over that comment you left - and yes, so long as you keep me warm - you can share in the bedtime story! Karen (Scott's friend from Miami) has pictures of iguana's from her back yard there that would have eaten that cute little raccoon! I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE anything green and lizard-ous! Snakes, lizards, iguana's, etc. Her son brought 10 with him, and I tell him all the time when he's not there I'm gonna skin one and make a pair of shoes. Wouldn't that be beautiful? They really are the most beautiful shade of blue!

  • Rhea

    I think you exude something alright...hehe

    Raccoons around here are freakin' smart and scary. They are cute looking though...

    I love animals too. The older I get, the more I love em. I grew up on a ranch, and I was surrounded by them.I miss those days.

  • Alex freakin' crack me up!! :) I love the raccoon...and the comments...tee hee

    So, when are you going to finish your book?! :P


  • nikkicrumpet

    He is so freaking cute!!! For heck sakes keep some crackers or bread or something handy! How can you not feed that adorable little beastie! I loved this post...waaaay to funny! And you really ought to clean those chairs!

  • Picket

    Oh girl...I love that... I had a baby pet raccoon when I was little! I even had a pet baby squirrel once! But those little green frogs with the suction cup feet....oh my word...they give me the heebeejeebees! They are like little alien beings and they just jump out at you at the weirdest moments..auggghhhhhh! Hope the New Year has been great for you so far girl!

  • Tootsie

    how cute is he? I am so thankful that you did not show any rodents...or I would not have stayed to say "hello Justine!"
    your posts always make me smile...but the comment today from your sister cracked me up!

  • jill jill bo bill

    He won't be so cute when he tears thru your screen and comes inside to ransack your kitchen. My kids do that and it PISSES me off!!!

  • Shelia

    You silly Justiney! That little creature is cute, but I hear they're destructive! Don't feed him!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  • Anonymous

    Girl... That Racoon would have chased me in the house. Jill is right.. you are Dr. Dolittle! I have never seen a racoon make friends with a human. LOL. I guess he figured he met his new meal ticket.

    Happy New Year!

    Donna Marie

  • Picket

    Hey girl...thanks for coming good grief girl..'egg whites'????? Girl are you kidding me...I tried that a few years back and nearly gagged to death...I am a whole egg or nothing type girl! lol I had lost another lb this morning...but I always take off fast like that at's the real hard fat that trys to stay with me! lol But I am determined to cut back and try to change my way of eating...take care girl!

  • Mariah

    I want a little racoon to come visit me. Why does he thing the food tastes like shit?

  • Lisa

    I lvoe the new look. when did you change it? I normally read through Google Reader and never see the look.

    I love that racoon. He is so danged cute.

  • NurseChessie

    Exuding auras to the universe? OMG somebody call the crazy police.


  • Anonymous

    So, you're kinda like Ace Ventura then?

    Does your ass talk too?

    Oh yeah, according to Jill it does...A LOT.

  • Buffie

    Awwwww! He IS really cute!! I'm with Jill, you need to catch him eating on video for sure...but not too close! lol

    Buffie :0

  • Alex

    Hey girlie...stopping by to say hello! :) *hugs*

  • Anonymous

    Only you Justine - only you!