Heidi Chronicles: Question to All Readers

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

The Heidi Chronicles has been an ongoing thread series here at DG for some 6 or more years. Unfortunately, it's namesake Heidi, a wild raccoon who became a beloved, albeit wild, pet, died in 2012. While her passing leaves a whole in our hearts, she is survived by her numerous daughters, granddaughters, great-grand... who will we hope carry on her legacy at the backyard buffet. This brings me to the following question:

QUESTION TO ALL READERS of the Heidi Chronicles Threads

In light of the page turning event of Heidi's death, if the raccoons return in spring, should the thread continue under the present name "Heidi Chronicles" or should that thread be closed to reflect her demise and another started under a new name? Should the thread continue to bear the name of Heidi as its founding member without whom none of this would ever have occurred, or should her portion of the thread be retired with her - like the jersey and number of an athlete?

I ask this because I'm torn. I can see a valid argument for both options. While we await the events of spring 2013, I would love to hear your thoughts on this matter. Please weigh in and help me with this decision. :-)

Note: The 'cover' photo below is an older pic of Heidi waiting patiently (and watching) at the patio door - waiting for me to show up with dinner.

For those who might wish to look back:
Previous thread in series: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1275226
First thread in series: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/603944

Thumbnail by DreamOfSpring
Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)

I'm glad that you are keeping the thread open! You have so many interesting creatures visiting you, Mr T come to mind first ^_^ and there are so many more.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Thank you very much, June!

Thanks and a big hug for being part of the series. Do you have any thoughts on whether upcoming threads in this series should keep the 'Heidi' name?

Rosemont, ON(Zone 4a)

I'm the June that lurks and rarely speaks.

I think calling the 2013 thread "Heidi's Legacy" would be apt. But you should go with whatever title you're comfortable with.

I'll go back to lurking now.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Hi June_Ontario,

I remember you, btw. Loved your pic of the tiny kit hanging from the feeder or pedestal, the pic that included the entire grouping with Mom & her kits but with that one little fella dangling by an arm.

Thanks for your input on the name issue. That's a name concept I hadn't considered, and I do like it.

Winston Salem, NC(Zone 7a)

Hi all,

I like June's idea. It keeps Heidi's spirit alive as her descendants show us what she taught them. Of course your use of "The Heidi Cronicles: ___ ___ ____" with the current happenings described as a chapter might be was great also

I have every confidence that your future writings will continue to bring each of your readers into the buffet, room or yard, coming to life before our eyes as we read.


ps...would love to see the picture that you described.

Emerald Hills, CA(Zone 9b)

I love June's suggestion!

Lyndonville, NY

I too like June's suggestion. I was thinking of her Legacy also, her benefactors of the buffet.

Great job Cheryl, and....I still wait to hear she is back. Forever the optimist....sigh.


Rosemont, ON(Zone 4a)

I think this might be the photo of the dangling kit.

Thumbnail by June_Ontario
Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)

Aww! They are so teeny-tiny! Such cute babies!

Heidi's Legacy, Heidi's Neighborhood, Critter Chronicles, Generations of ...?. I guess that it could be renamed and updated pretty easily ^_^

Lyndonville, NY

Heidi: The next Generation

Sort of like Star Trac sequel lol

Emerald Hills, CA(Zone 9b)

All good suggestions!

Winston Salem, NC(Zone 7a)

DebbieD- I had also thought of that. Like the Movies in the Star Wars series.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

So many really good ideas! Excellent!

BTW, just the other day it occurred to me that 'spring' is closer than we might think. They could be showing up as early as the 1st few weeks of Feb. Of course, w/o Heidi to lead them here, it may take a little longer this year for them to get hungry enough to come back. Either way, spring is right around the corner here.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Thank you, Sheri,

It's the photo that June_Ontario posted below.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)


That's it! Thanks so much for posting it for all o see. Somehow in my memory that one kit was hanging by a paw. Guess that demonstrates the problem of relying on memory. That is the pic though, and I love it still. Ages ago I tagged it so I would always be able to find it again. That's it.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Thank you, Debbie,

Nothing wrong with optimism. It will get you far in life. Oh, and I hope you turn out to be right about this one. Hope maybe she just had a special event to attend last summer, a great-aunt to take care of maybe, or a niece's wedding to attend in a land far, far away. Who knows.

And I do love that name with the Star Trek reference.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

I do so agree, Liz,

I knew you guys would come up with some good ideas, but I had no idea HOW good - or how many. These are awesome ideas, and all things I hadn't considered. The hard part will be choosing just one.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Thanks, June (JuneyBug),

All great ideas! So much creativity here. I'm so glad I asked you guys for help with this. I would never have thought of all these great ideas. Thanks again!

Oh, and not sure if I explained this properly. I don't plan to change the names of the existing threads. DG doesn't provide that option anyhow, plus I don't think I would want to do that. I'm just looking for input on what to name the new threads going forward now that Heidi is no longer with us (as far as we know, that is, Debbie; but if she does come back, you have my permission to lighten ALL of the photos!).

Lyndonville, NY

YAY!!! Gearing up my photoshop! hehehe

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

ROTF, Debbie,

If it means seeing Heidi once more, nothing would make me happier. I would be willing to showcase all the dirt, leaves, debris, and junk on my patio any day to see Heidi again. :-)

Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)


Greensboro, NC(Zone 7b)

I also like the Star Wars reference. I can't imagine continuing without thinking of Heidi.

Someone sent this to me today and I thought of you Cheryl, so here it is. It made me smile, I hope you do too.

Thumbnail by AmandaEsq
Winston Salem, NC(Zone 7a)

How cute, Amanda. I sure smiled! I used to rehab babies who had fallen or had the nest destroyed or Momma was killed. So I have a special softspot in my heart for them and other assorted woodland creatures.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Ah, Amanda,

How adorable! I love it. I'm smiling even as I type this - but a minute ago I was literally laughing out loud as I looked at that adorable face and read the words. Too cute.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

After that pic, I must tell you all a quick story. I do so wish I had gotten a picture of this, but it was one of those once in a lifetime things that happens when you don't have a camera handy.

Naturally, back when I was feeding the birds, the squirrels were always trying to figure out how to get the seeds. I had this one feeder, a doughnut shaped thing made of clear Lucite, affixed to the outside of the great room window by suction cups. The lower part of the doughnut was cut out on the inner side of the ring to make a place for bird seed. Birds would land on the edge to eat, and, as the entire gizmo was clear, this made them readily visible from inside the room.

One bright, sunny day I heard a loud thud at the window and looked up to see one of the most hilarious sites ever. The entire doughnut shaped Lucite ring about 8" or so in diameter was stuffed full of brownish grey fur. As I was trying to make sense of this scene I suddenly saw a foot pinned against the inside of the ring, then another foot, and finally a little face plastered against the Lucite from inside - a squirrel face. Determined to find a way to get some of those seeds, the squirrel had jumped from a nearby tree into the Lucite doughnut and now was STUCK there inside the clear ring, his little face all contorted against the plastic.

To picture this, imagine your car tire if it were (1) made of clear plastic, (2) removed from the wheel/car, (3) shrunk down to 8" or so across, and (4) stuck to a window. Now remember, the tire has been removed from the wheel or hub or whatever you call it, so that it's open on the inside of the ring, and in this situation it is made of clear plastic. Picture the clear, 8" tire stuck to a window and picture a handful of seeds in the bottom of the tire. Now picture a squirrel having jumped into the tire, his entire body 'smushed' into the clear, plastic ring, head, face, feet all plastered against the plastic at weird angles so that it takes a minute or two to even figure out what this thing inside the doughnut is even.

For a minute or so the squirrel just sat there all catawampus, his body stuffed into the ring in such a manner that he seemed for the moment unable even to move. Finally, the squirrel got it together. He struggled a bit before finally popping out of the doughnut and falling to the ground - without ever having gotten even a single seed. That picture of the squirrel stuffed all askew inside that ring, a foot plastered up against his head, another foot plastered on the other side of the circle, looking as though he had been playing Twister only moments before, was just too hilarious for words. Oh if only I had a camera at that moment. I actually considered moving the feeder to the kitchen window, so I would have something amusing to watch while cooking and cleaning. Squirrels do the craziest things.

Winston Salem, NC(Zone 7a)

LOL, I can picture it now! Thanks, Cheryl for this hilarious image.

Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)


Bartlesville, OK(Zone 6a)

Believe it or not, I still follow Heidi stories as often as I can. as you know I seldom post, but I sure enjoy everything.

glad to see it will continue, and I hope some of the grandkids come back without the bad kids coming too.


Winston Salem, NC(Zone 7a)

I do so look forward to seeing who of all the Heidi "children" will return as the new "Boss Hog" errrrumm "Boss Possum". Heidi was such an excellent example and a great teacher of what was & was not acceptable behaviour. I do believe that one of her older daughters will come in to carry the flag. Bast?..Frady?...who knows....but surely one will have learned exceptionally well from Mom or G'ma.
I sure hope that little Desi is a female!

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Thanks, Sheri!

Thanks, June!


Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Hi Susan!

Thanks for letting me know you are still with us. It's nice to see you again.

BTW, did you see (Kitty & Cocoa thread) that Kitty and I have finally made a huge breakthrough? These days she is often down at my feet, rubbing up against me like a 'normal', pet cat. I can pet her now, and instead of being stiff as she used to be, now she is 'soft', relaxed, and responsive, pushing her body up against my hand in the 'normal' manner. She is like a new cat. Hope you saw that - and saw how the change occurred.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)


I'm with you on that. I, too, believe that by now one of Heidi's many daughters, nieces, or granddaughters will have taken the leadership position. It shouldn't be long now. The other day I put out some badly burnt, shortbread cookies (set oven at 425 instead of 325. Ouch). They were so burnt that Widget would not have anything to do with them, so I know he didn't eat them. They were gone the very next morning, which would seem to indicate that the raccoons may already be back on regular, nightly rounds. (A month or so back it took 3 days for anyone to eat an egg I put out.) It still might have been an opossum, but I doubt an opossum would have eaten the whole batch. At any rate, I see this as a good sign.

Oh, and I'm also hoping Desi is a female, meaning she will likely be back with the group. She was such a sweetie.

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7b)

Fingers crossed. ;)

Bartlesville, OK(Zone 6a)

I did see that and I was thrilled. It took a lot of work but you never gave up on her.

I am really happy for your little fur family. ♥♥

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Thanks, Amanda,

I think maybe I'll put some food out back Friday night. If it's gone by morning, I'll sit out with some food on Saturday to see if they come to me. If it doesn't rain, that is. It rains a lot here this time of year, has been drizzling all day today. Putting (dry cat) food out on Friday will serve 2 purposes: (1) to let me know if they are around and (2) give them an idea as to what time to show up to get the food. If the food is still there on Saturday or only partly eaten (opossum), the raccoons probably aren't showing up yet, so no need to waste my time on Saturday. If they show up and find the food on Friday, they will somehow - not sure how they do this - know approx what time I put it out and will be more likely to show up at that time on Saturday (to get 1st crack at the food).

Like I said, I don't know how they know what time I put the food out, or for that matter how the little rascals tell time at all, but I'm convinced they do. Over the years working with them, the results were always the same. If I changed the meeting time, they might miss me the 1st day on the new schedule, but they would be there at the new time the next and all successive nights. Ex: Say I had been feeding them at 10PM for a while, and then one night I decided 8PM would be better for me. The 1st night I showed up at 8, they would not be there. I would wait a little while and then leave. They would show up at 10 and find that I had left the food and was gone. The next night when I went out at 8, they would be there at the new time. It worked every time, and I never could figure out how they did it. Smart little rascals for sure.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Thanks, Susan!

There were many times when I thought it would never happen.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Sorry, guys,

It doesn't look like the weather is going to support our plans. It rained all week. It rained last night. And now, OMG, the plan for tonight calls for SNOW! Well, maybe. The NWS is calling for snow is the greater Charleston tricounty area. Charleston is a confusing concept. It is both a city and a county, and the two overlap - no idea whose brilliant idea that was. I live in Charleston and Charleston. By that I mean that I live Charleston County and the city of Charleston. Not everyone who claims to live in Charleston is referring to the city, as one might expect. One can live in one of several other cities while also residing in Charleston County. Confusing. I know. Anyhow, snow in the Charleston tricounty area doesn't necessarily mean snow in the city of Charleston.

I'm considering maybe putting out a bowl of cat food though - think I may go do that right now - for any critters that stop by in the snow (if there is any here). Oh, forgot to mention that the snow is expected to begin after dark and end around 1AM - with no accumulation. Argh! So even if we do get some snow here in the city, it will probably come and go in the dark of night with none remaining in the light of day. Bummer. Some may recall that as the way our last snow went. It started after dark, came down pretty hard for a short time, the POWER went out due to accumulation on the branches of those old, oak trees lining the main road, and then I awoke the next morning just in time to see the last few clumps of snow melt away. If I hadn't gone outside in the dark to take pics and watch in astonishment as the snow fell, I would have missed the whole things - except for the part where I was w/o power all night.

Oh, ugh! Maybe I don't want snow after all, not if it means spending the night by candlelight (better gather those candles and matches now) and w/o heat only to miss most of the event as it occurs in the overnight hours. Bummer.

Headed out now to put out a bowl of cat food.

Lyndonville, NY

At least with the snow, you might see some paw prints and figure out who ihas been visiting!

Stay safe Cheryl!


Greensboro, NC(Zone 7b)

Hi Cheryl and gang:

We had weird wet snow flakes falling off and on all day. It was a crappy day to be out, for sure, but it was an excellent day for bird watching. They always seem to panic when there's the least bit of snow. As this weekend is the Great Backyard Bird Count, it all worked out perfectly. I saw signs this morning that I'd had a possum on one of the platform feeders. Something about the way the black oil sunflower seeds are shredded says it was a possum. Like you Cheryl, I think I will put out a little kibble for passers-by.

G'Night all.


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