This morning I went out to check on my ponds and how the new deicers I'm trying were performing in our sudden cold weather ( temp 9 F ). Ok - the back yard big pond was doing just fine. Big hole in the ice and the water temperature had actually risen ( 37 degrees) now that there was an ice cover over a large area. Headed to the front pond. This one is smaller, only 480 gals. and has only 7 fish which are sarassa comets and shubunkins. Because of the heater wattage and the small size, this pond has no ice and the water is a toasty 50 degrees. The fish are lovin it. But I stopped cold in my tracks. There at the edge of the pond where the water from the upper part flows down a short waterfall into the lower part ( when its not shut off for the winter) was a large furry lump with a ring tail. There was a raccoon hanging over the waterfall with its head just a fraction of an inch from the surface of the water. It was dead. It had died sometime early morning in the act of getting a drink. It wasn't yet completely stiff. What the heck?! Husband removed the dead raccoon using surgical gloves. He's been disposed of. Other than a ratty looking coat there were no obvious injuries. I've posted a couple of pics in boxes below. So, if this bothers you please don't go any further.