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Further adventures with the Hairhen

Early Monday morning I nearly stepped on a raccoon kit.  We both came around a wall at the same time, from opposite directions.  Fortunately, no contact was made: the kits are well-grown now.  Also, the Hairhen is very watchful, so we were all very careful to not create an incident.  She and all four kits were headed back to the Fan Palm where the family holes up invisibly in the spiny fronds during the day, after a night marauding.

It was the second raccoon Close Encounter in as many days — the night before last, the Hairhen spied an ENORMOUS fat Palo Verde Beetle above a window in the studio.  She attempted to climb the aging nylon screen to fetch it down, but the UV-weakened fibers couldn’t support her weight, and she slid back down, shredding the screen on the way.  I was on the other side of the window at the time, just a foot away (the glass was closed) unable to do anything but watch strong-nailed raccoon hands wreak destruction.

I wish she’d managed to snatch the high fiber protein snack — these giant beetles are very destructive, laying their eggs in the roots of Palo Verde trees, where their grubs (which are way too large to be appealing in even the slightest way) eat their way to maturity, doing considerable damage.  (See excellent photos and read more about Palo Verde Borer Beetles here at the fine Myrmecos Blog.)

Above is a photo of our yard Hairhen and two kits in the Palo Verde/Aleppo Pine complex. (Photo A. Shock)

Posted by Allison on Jul 14th 2009 05:11 am | No Comments yet
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