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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Racoons! (Procyon lotor)

I continue to be amazed at the amount and variety of wildlife that is visible from the West Bay Walkway on a daily basis. Just after snapping yesterday's photo of the Belted Kingfisher, I was putting my camera away when a gentleman passing by suggested I take my camera down the walkway a little further and look into a patch of blackberry canes where he had just seen five Racoons. I strolled down and found only two remaining but they posed nicely at first (left). Then when they heard the shutter one of them came towards me to investigate. Despite those big eyes, apparently Racoons are not very sharp-eyed and this one came close enough (above) to make me start wondering about rabies-crazed wildlife, etc., before he realized what he was facing. Then the two of them raced off into the brambles. They were quite small - I suspect they were part of this year's litter. Racoons have been hanging around this part of the world for a couple of million years and are very well adapted. Though I usually see them on the ground they also like to climb trees and have a wonderful adaptation for coming down tree trunks head first. They have reversible hind feet. Yes, they can turn their hind feet around to face backwards to make climbing down just as easy as climbing up. Now I'd like to see that! Read more about Racoons HERE.


JoJo said...

They are so cute and so destructive.

William Kendall said...

Amazing critters. I come across them every once in awhile in the city.

Stephanie said...

Very cute! I get nervous when they come by too close, one has to be careful around them.