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More wildlife...

Okay, so I'm hideously behind on updating. Therefore, expect to get some picspam posts for several days in a row. We have owls! Raccoons! Also the USS Constitution. (... One of these things is not like the others.)

First: raccoons!

As anyone with firsthand experience of them will tell you, raccoons are humongous, and frighteningly clever. At the Wildlife Care place I volunteer at, we are often wistfully remarking that it would be so cool if we had some raccoons for display or programs... but it's just not worth the gamble. Our building where all the display animals are housed has big signs on both doors that say, "DO NOT BRING RACCOONS INTO THIS BUILDING". It doesn't matter if the enclosures inside are sturdy and locked, raccoons are just that scary.

As it happens, there is a big tree about 15 yards in back of the main wildlife care building, which has a classic, big hole in it, and there is a raccoon family that lives there. The WLC boss was telling us on Saturday that she surprised one of the adults just brazenly ambling up the road back to the tree in the morning, to go to sleep. (There was also an adventure involving two raccoon families that had moved into the produce storage barn over on the farm, where they were emerging and methodically stealing the farm interns' lunches, before being evicted.)

So when I was out there Sat. morning, cleaning out the ducks' and geese pens, I looked up towards that tree to see if anything was visible. And yes... yes, it was.


I was expecting perhaps to be able to see a raccoon head poking up out of the hole. I wasn't expecting to find one of the adult raccoons asleep half-hanging out of the hole, looking like a cross between a raccoon stole, and one of my cats bonelessly asleep hanging over the edge of the sofa.


The raccoon was also remarkably unconcerned by several of us then rushing out there and getting relatively close to the tree (within 5 yards) to try to take pictures with our phones. (I did not have my Good Camera with me, so all these photos were taken with my HTC Incredible. That's why they're pretty grainy. Although, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality the phone managed.) But that's raccoons for you. As I said: brazen.

My favorite sequence was when I circled around to try to get a picture more from the side -- and during this whole time, with another person out there also taking pictures, the raccoon really did not seem to notice us, so I wondered if it was just deeply asleep -- at which point, it just raised its head slightly to LOOK at me... and then dropped its head back to sleeping position.



So, that was fun. I wish we could get a look at the babies. They are doubtless inside that hole.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 6th, 2011 10:49 pm (UTC)
Seriously, this is never not going to be hilarious. I've been laughing about it all week.
Jul. 7th, 2011 01:08 am (UTC)
LOL! This is awesome! We used to have raccoons around where I work. I still regret not having a camera or cell-phone-with-camera on me the morning I watched the whole family amble by and slip under one of the modular temporary buildings.

I'm impressed with the quality of the photos your phone took! A little grainy, but remarkably clear anyway.
Jul. 7th, 2011 02:16 am (UTC)
I am much less amused by raccoons now that they have apparently taken to having sex on our roof. Or fighting. All that yowling and thwapping has to be one or the other.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )