One of the residual effects of a prolonged storm in Los Angeles is that the wildlife, forced to take an elongated refuge from the rain, emerges post-precipitation a bit famished and perhaps somewhat cabin fevered and therefore a little more bold, daring and easily spotted.

Case in point: Walking the dogs at 5 a.m. this morning we found two skunks circulating a safe enough distance away along the sidewalk in a search for snacks. Heading away from us to the north they eventually detoured out of sight onto properties north of our house. Not more than a half-hour later, Ranger went on full whining alert in the kitchen where I joined her by the backdoor and heard something moving around directly on the other side of it. A skunk? Whatever it was I couldn’t see it, but I definitely could hear it snuffling and sniffing up against the pet door, probably getting a whiff of the bowl of kibble only a few feet behind me.

Upon arming myself with our million-candlepower flashlight I went out the front door and around back to investigate. Finding nothing I turned to come back and when the light swept it lit up a pair of eyes by the trashcans. Not skunk, raccoon. And sure enough when I arrived where the eyes had been, not only was there one that had retreated to the walkway of the house next door, but right away a second one appeared in the tree not more than six feet away from me, entirely unphased by my presence and looking at me wondering if I either had any food or perhaps was myself potentially edible.

After a few more moments it scampered down the tree to join its partner and together they moved out of view.

Later on some apples that Susan had set out on the sill caught my eye (click to quadruplify):

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