New Year 2016

Happy New Year to all my friends, family, colleagues and followers. I hope that it is joyful, empowering, encouraging and loving for everyone.

We ran into a bit of a surprise yesterday as I came home from work. I looked out into the back yard: it’s a relatively small yard for us, but we have our bird feeders and summer celebrations within its confines. There is a picture at right. It took me a while to notice the rather shapeless mass in the tree. It turns out that one of the local raccoons had decided to take a nap in the branches. At first I was afraid that he might be sick; but at one point I saw him yawn and turn around in his bed, and take a leisurely scratch at one of his ears. He seemed more tired than sick.

But he did make me think. The last year or so, Toronto has identified something of a “problem” with raccoons (Globe and Mail, 2015). As the city expands to ever-widening extremes, the natural and wild inhabitants are forced into smaller and more crowded spaces. Raccoons have made something of a peace with that. They have adapted to what is available to them, even if some of us don’t like it. They’ve managed to establish a pattern of living that parallels our own, and apparently do so fairly well. Our local raccoon looks fairly well-stocked for the winter, and at least no-one is hunting him for his tail these days.

Though we live near the Black Creek Parklands, this is the first time I’ve seen such a visitor in our backyard. It might be a small (and to some, an irritating) event, but it was something new. Right at the New Year. I cannot help but wonder what else 2016 will have in store for us.

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