The Sacrifice

I buried a raccoon pup at dawn
Found him by the steps
Heartless and emptied
Secretly sacrificed
Under half-moon? Rose at two
Such a mystery

With last rites fitting any innocent soul
Tucked in under spadefuls of sandy soil
Laid to rest, secured for eternity
A spark of life lit
Snuffed, sacrificed
So much misery

The poem above was inspired by a poor baby raccoon, gutted and left near our doorstep. I don’t know what killed it, but it seemed very sacrificial. I’m packing several day’s worths of photos into this post because of the possibility that other things will come up, and many of the photos not get posted.

Click on the galleries below to see a slideshow of the photos in their correct aspect ratios.

Grosbeaks, Hummer, and Towhee the Line

I am Wood Duck hear me roar!

Got Your Goose and Goslings with Cormorant

Cooper’s Hawks’ Hanky Panky

Fuzzette, Major Tom Peppers out of the nest with Mona Lisa and Sleeping still in the nest, Mama Owl, Daddy Owl, Daddy Owl, Mama Owl, Daddy Owl

56 thoughts on “The Sacrifice

    • Thanks, Leah. It is really sad. The poor thing didn’t live long enough to be a problem.

  1. Oh Tim – you have a compassionate heart for our fellow creatures who walk/fly/swim this earth. Thank you for the brilliant collection of photos. I will be back more than once to view them.

    • Thanks, Rebecca. The little raccoon was so sad. I felt I needed to give it a decent burial. If you click on the galleries you get a slide show of the photos. I’m not a fan of the blockhead editor, but the galleries are nice for grouping photos.

  2. So sad about the young raccoon, may he rest in peace.
    Thanks for compensating this sad story with the beauty of all these birds 🙂

    • You’re welcome, Rudi. Didn’t want to do two sad posts without some beauty.

  3. So much birdlife – and I like raccons, so I feel sad, too. Around here, they are not welcome and hunted as “invasive species” all through the year, like nutrias too, so I double-like your sympathy.

    • Thanks, Marina. Even the littlest of our critter friends deserve some respect in their repose. Nature is most unforgiving.

  4. Definitely love hate relationship with raccoons out here in the country – love the cute babies.. absolutely hate it when they transition into adulthood and figure out how useful an opposable thumb is. More wood ducks in a tree .. twisting the dagger ha.

    • Hi Brian, you need to make a road trip out here this time of year. The wood ducks are hopping and fying around in the cottonwoods like crazy. The raccoons get to be very pesky and destructive when they grow up. Since the owls have moved in around 2016, I noticed fewer raccoons and skunks over the past five years.

      • Definitely on my list of places to hit now that I am retired! Our coyote population does a good job of critter control .. until those packs get too big and we have to trim them back to keep some kind of balance.

      • We have a lot of coyotes. I think the cougars do most of the coyote control. The owls will go for their pups. Daddy owl attacks coyotes that linger on the ditch bank near the tree the owlets are in.

    • Hi Flo. It was another animal, well I hope it was another animal, We are fairly secluded so it would be strange indeed for a person to do that and not wake us. We are doing great.

  5. A grim reminder of human evil, since I don’t think animals eviscerate one another. But all the beauty you captured in the other photos far outweighs it.

    • I think it was an animal. I find partially eaten animals every once in a while. Thanks, Mary Jo.

    • I don’t suspect the owls. They would have taken the little guy to the owlts. A hawk maybe or a bobcat, it’s hard to say.

  6. A power packed post, Tim!
    I feel sorry for the baby racoon. I feel sorry for much in the world, that the baby you buried symoblizes.
    You are a very sweet person to care. Another might have just tossed the poor thing in the garbage.
    I opened and scrolled through all of your fab pics! Thank you!

  7. Sadly, the circle of life is not all neat and tidy. Sweet of you to bury his remains. Those pictures! My goodness they are wonderful. You really have access to wonderful wildlife!
    Oh! I was SO excited! The other day, I took a few pictures of ducks, that I couldn’t see that clearly – you know, I don’t have a monster zoom 😉 When I got home and uploaded them, I was pleased and chuffed and thrilled to find out they were wood ducks!

    • Hi Dale Wood duck daze! Congratulations! You are now part of the wood duck craze.

      • I tells ya! The photos are from so damn far away, but still.. I might even consider sharing them!

      • That is sweet of you. I have been playing with them, trying to get them to pop a bit more – that distance thing was not the best! Maybe I will anyway 🙂

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