only on vashon-the weekly rundown 05/20/21

A raccoon was spotted cruising down the street with a chicken in its mouth. Raccoons have wicked criminal minds that allow them to bypass any fence. They’ll go so far as to stick their eerily long paws through chicken wire to catch a bird and eat her in little pieces. One raccoon keeps coming to a group member’s front door, giving baby eyes to the cat to try to get let in.

 Once one of my chickens decided to take a vacation from the coop and camp out under the stars. In due course, a raccoon dragged her into a tree. Six months later, I occasionally find her bones as they rain down from above.

Ground nesting birds are building nests in our lawns, so now we need to protect them from our dogs. Some of us build fences around their nests. One bird built a nest in the space behind someone’s car tire, so she won’t be leaving the house for a few weeks. (We should start a meal train for her.) Maybe humans should colonize space so we can leave Earth to the animals.

Some birds we find on the ground aren’t in mortal peril. A kind group member shared information about baby crows. When they’re learning to fly, they hang out on the ground screaming bloody murder while their parents look on from a hiding spot in the shadows. If you see a crow with blue eyes, that’s just a juvenile trying to fly, so there’s no need to call in backup to rescue it. Remarkably, raccoons tend to leave crows alone. They must know that crows have minds even more sinister and devious than their own. 

A couple peacocks are on the loose. They squeal and fight their reflections in windows, but are otherwise cheerful. There used to be loads of feral peacocks on island, many of which had escaped from the Peacock Lady, who had over 100 of them. Unfortunately the raccoons have taken them out. 

A busted phone was found at Frog Holler. Someone’s trying to call, but it’s impossible to answer. It’s like in Star Trek when the bad guy crushes the captain’s communicator with a rock, and suddenly she’s alone on an alien world with only her wits to guide her, along with her faith in the innate goodness of humanoidkind.

Turns out, the phone had blown off the roof of a car like a coffee cup. A kind humanoid helped reunite it with its owner.

A sunken boat has been spotted at Raab’s Lagoon. It’s been there a few months, its mast sticking out of the water and marked by a buoy. Presumably Salish Sea pirates abandoned it after the Royal Navy attacked them with cannons. We need to scuba dive down to it to retrieve its treasure (likely bootlegged gasoline). Though I wouldn’t be surprised if raccoons have already stripped it of anything valuable.

Someone wants to start a new group to swap games and puzzles. They may even start a free game library like those little free book libraries where you can get six cookbooks from the 1970s that offer an array of jello meatloaves, as well as a copy of an iMac user’s manual. I’m a little worried about the free game library, as someone might leave a game that sucks you in and you can’t stop playing until you make it to the end, or else you die in real life. This is the premise of Jumanji, which I’m pretty sure is based on real events.  

Finally, on May 26, around 2:30 am, we should be able to see a Super Flower Blood Moon, which is a springtime lunar eclipse when the moon is at its closest point to Earth.

I’ve got to hand it to the moon. Despite being billions of years old, it still keeps things fresh with cool new phenomena. 

If you were on the moon for the Super Flower Blood Moon and looked toward Earth, full of its ground nesting birds, feral peacocks, and overstuffed raccoons, you’d see the Earth obscure the sun and be surrounded by a halo of red light.

Anna Shomsky
Author: Anna Shomsky

I'm a former teacher and a data engineer living on Vashon Island. My writing has appeared in Five on the Fifth, Women on Writing and on the Post-Culture Podcast. I wrote and produced the radio show Whispers of Vashon for 101.9 KVSH. I’ve had short stories published in the anthologies Island Stories and Chicken Scratchings, as well as through the Open Space Literary Project.

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