Our probably-last Cottage-Life weekend of 2019 featured cetacean encounters and rodent rage. But I didn’t manage to photograph any of that, so just the usual trees and sunsets.

Like this:

Howe Sound sunset

Killers! · This morning I was alone at the breakfast table, considering the sea as one does, when I saw them and was yelling “whales!” at the family. There were five killer whales, one an adorable juvenile who put a little hop into every surface-to-breathe. They weren’t in a hurry, stayed for a while.

“Orcas” is more common but I say “killer whales”. Scientists prefer that too, although “orca” has etymological standing, per Wikipedia. A whale specialist told me “orca” was popularized by the marketing group at SeaWorld; they didn’t like having “killer” in their big stars’ names; family values, y’know.

Keats Island forest

Anyhow, our local killer whale population is in trouble, and that trouble is about to get worse since the Government of Canada has in its wisdom decided to bless the tar-sands pipeline that will run a tanker more or less every day through their home waters. So a random visit is a precious gift, one that might never be repeated.

Here’s today’s only picture with an animal: A feral kid scrambling up a alien-flavored tree construct.

Kid climbing tree and stump on Keats Island

Rodent rage · What happened was, I came up the ramp to the front of the cabin and there, where we have the barbecue and the recycling, was a big chunky raccoon with a beautiful silky coat, bursting with health and vigor, looking for leavings. I thought “Let’s put on a show here and disincent repeat visits” so I yelled “Hey, get outta here” and charged him. He skedaddled to the corner of the cabin and turned left, but had traction problems on the deck so I rounded the corner right behind him. He opened a lead on the dirt trail alongside the cabin and turned left again. I chased him down the path at the cabin’s back but it wasn’t close; he turned left yet again but was out of sight by the time I got to that third turn.

I thought I’d made my point and sauntered back up to the front door — and there was the raccoon again, finishing his foraging. I kind of lost it, shrieking “Gimme a **** break you **** sleazy ****!” and sprinting like a teenager.

Genuine rage makes all the difference. He headed straight sideways into the woods, never looking back. I thought he was running before, but this time he turned on his warp drive, like when they say “Engage!” on Star Trek.

He probably skulked back when we sailed for home this afternoon but we keep the place battened down in absentia. I hope we’ll be less likely to see him on future occasions when we’re in residence.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Tony Fisk (Sep 08 2019, at 20:53)

Killer whales may or not be orcas (or grampuses (grampi?)), but raccoons are certainly *not* rodents.

Just pesky varmints.


From: Reinout van Rees (Sep 11 2019, at 04:49)

These cute raccoons have been called names before (https://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/200x/2003/12/21/FilmLight) on this blog: "these apparent innocents are the worst kind of depraved kleptorodents".

That "kleptorodents" still makes me smile every time I see a raccoon :-)



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