While living in the country I encountered a great many animals. Deer, raccoons, squirrels, skunks, foxes, beavers, muskrats and others. One night, while I was watching television, (and starting to fall asleep), I noticed two pairs of eyes staring into the living room window. I almost freaked. I got up from the sofa and switched on the outdoor balcony light. A pair of raccoons was sitting on the table on the second floor balcony and they seemed to be watching the television.

A large number of raccoons visited the balcony every night. We had an unspoken understanding. We left them scraps of food... they didn't raid the trash. It seemed to work. The one in the photo came walking right into the house one day.

On another occasion, I heard a noise outside and when I switched the light on, there was nothing there, but one of the bird feeders was swinging madly back and forth. I thought it might be a squirrel, but none of them had figured out how to get to the bird feeders because we had suspended them in a way that made it virtually impossible to climb up, or leap over, to them. The noise happened several times until finally I caught the culprit. A flying squirrel was gliding down from a nearby tree, climbing into the feeder and feasting on seeds. Whenever it heard me moving inside the house, it would leap out and away. They are very beautiful shy creatures, and because they are nocturnal, they have very big eyes.

Ever since I was very young, I've found whales fascinating. I've gone on whale watching expeditions twice.

It's a thrilling experience.

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There have been a number of cavies, or guinea pigs as they are more popularly known, living with me for several years... Jeep and Yikes! were two of my faves.

They were not the brightest animals, but they are gentle, funny and interesting to watch. If you devote some time to them, they become attentive and will respond to simple commands.

Guinea pigs make terrific pets... or a nice light  snack if you live in South America.