09:06 – It was 33.6F (1C) when I took Colin out at 0625. I don’t think it ever got out of the 40’s yesterday. Barbara told me when she called yesterday that Sparta was forecast to have snow flurries yesterday or today. I haven’t seen any snow at all yet, but the weather is definitely getting more winter-like.

When I opened the front door to take Colin out after dinner last night, there were not one but two raccoons at the hanging feeder. I kept him inside and stepped out onto the porch, shining the beam from my 3-C cell flashlight on them. They ignored me standing 8 or 10 feet away. I spoke sternly to them and they still ignored me.

So I stepped back inside, picked up my Colt 1911, verified that it was cocked-and-locked, and went back outside, planning to shoot them if they didn’t back down. This time, as I came out the door they ambled away, over towards the garden.

I walked down the length of the porch because if I decided to shoot I wanted to do so from an elevated position so that I’d have the yard itself as a safe backstop. By the time I got to the end of the porch, they’d already transited the garden and were in the grass behind it. So I came back in, got Colin, and gave him his after-dinner out.

He spent a good half hour sniffing and marking our entire property, while I followed with my flashlight and .45. I may start wearing a headlamp. One hand for the flashlight and one for the pistol didn’t leave me a hand for my cane. I wonder if anyone makes a decent 1,000-lumen LED headlamp for a reasonable price.