Monday, January 04, 2010


When I noticed animal poop on a shelf in the bottom room of the papercrete office last week, I knew that we had an uninvited guest visiting there.  After I checked the outside of the building and fixed the hole where the creature was getting in, I set a trap inside baited with dry cat food.

That same evening we heard the trap crash closed and finally met our guest face-to-face:  a little ringtail.  These are nocturnal creatures that are rarely seen by humans; in fact, I've seen only one other ringtail in the 36 year I've lived here.  This is a lousy picture because it doesn't show the magnificent ringed tail, which is at least half the animal's length.

We took the trap outside and opened the door.  It took the ringtail a minute to figure out that the end of the trap was wide open, but once it did, within a split-second it was 20 feet away and accelerating fast.  Yet another of those seldom-used phrases entered my mind:  "greased lightning."