It’s been a long hard winter here along the Maine coast.  Snow storms, freezing weather and wicked high tides caused havoc even into April. 

Then, as it does every year, temperatures rise, daffodils brave the turf, lilac bushes display delicate green leaves, duffers head for the fairways, sand chairs appear on the beach, and the old gang returns. 

The other night around 8:30, Mr. Wonderful and I were settled in our easy chairs in the family room, glued to “Broadchurch” on Netflix. Suddenly, the outside “motion activation light” clicked on. We actually call it the “robber light” and are positive that, anytime it goes on, either Charles Manson or Freddie Kruger is wedging open a window.

We peeked out through the back door window and spotted three adult deer casually walking across the yard. They stopped, looked around, then continued their trek, comfortable as could be. “Welcome back, guys,” I said.


The next morning I went to put trash in our bins which sit just outside the back door. Muddy paw prints covered the steps. I also noticed there were muddy tracks all over our back deck.  “Hello, Mr. Raccoon,” I said. “Did you have a nice winter? Enjoy yourself now because the have-a-heart trap is ready to load.” 


After breakfast I took a shower. When I walked out of the master bath into our bedroom, there on the floor staring up at me in my altogether was a big fat chipmunk. I screamed. You might even have heard me.

He jumped a foot in the air, peeing on the carpeting as he rose, then raced out to the hall, into the living room, then to dining room table, under the breakfront, into the kitchen, around the island, towards the laundry room, then down to the basement. I chased him screaming like a banshee, still in my altogether.  It wasn’t pretty.


Over past summers, we have learned that Alvin or any members of his posse will NOT walk into miniature traps, no matter how much Skippy we slather on a Triscuit. So we opened a basement window and the varmint was gone in 10 minutes. “Now little chipmunk, do you really think I missed you over the winter?” I believe he knows my answer.

An hour later I went out to my car. Sitting on the hill between our house and the neighbor’s was a big red fox, eyeballing me with aplomb. “Hello, Mrs. Fox, any kits in the neighborhood I should know about?” I asked. She never moved. Never batted an eyelash. She was home.


Mind you, we do not live at Moosehead Lake or on the tundra.  We live in what I have always referred to as “bright lights, big city, Maine.” No Starbucks here but a fabulous coffee house called Mornings in Paris.  No Dean and Deluca but fresh lobster available on nearly every corner. We are quite civilized.

And obviously, the old gang loves every inch.