Monday, November 19, 2012

A Raccoon's Sunday Nap

Two weeks ago on our way home from church, we passed a Raccoon napping in a tree not far the road. We stopped on the shoulder to let the kids get a good look, and it didn't even stir. Unfortunately, my usual experience with seeing a Raccoon is dead at the side of the road. By then they are often bloated with decay, making them look huge. Although un-moving, this one was quite alive, and as far as I could tell, a pretty large Raccoon.

The view from the road.

I headed back there with the camera once the family was dropped off at home. I parked a little ways off, not wanting to startle it awake. That was not necessary. At first I quietly approached, but the Raccoon was either so sound asleep or unconcerned with my presence that it didn't stir a bit.

Sleeping Raccoon

I couldn't figure out how this Raccoon was sleeping in that position... aside from seeming rather uncomfortable, it looked like it was depending on holding on with its front legs. I'd think it would be hard to sleep holding on to something. What I didn't do to stir the Raccoon, a dog from the adjacent home did. It must have been alerted to my movement and came noisily barking at me. This did stir the Raccoon enough to stare it down for a bit, albeit rather slowly and groggily. He paid me no attention until the dog headed its master's call, even though I was a short distance away compared to the dog that was kept further at bay, likely by an invisible fence evidenced by the flags and collar.

Raccoon woken by a dog.

After that he settled down on a branch again and casually eyed me from his perch in the tree above me. So casually, although I'd walk to the other side of the tree, it seemed unconcerned and refused to turn around to allow the sun to light his face. So almost all my shots had to be back lit.

Raccoon keeping an eye on me.

Raccoon lounging in the tree.

One interesting thing I learned about Raccoons while doing this post, is that they have whisker like hairs on top of their paws which allow them to sense and identify objects without even making direct contact with their skin.

Intelligent eyes of  a Raccoon

Getting pictures of birds is nice, but the wildlife around us is less often seen and more a challenge to see and photograph. So this was a welcome variation in the picture subjects.


  1. That last of his face is adorable! They are cute, aren't they?

  2. Great photos! My boyfriend and I always have a contest whenever we head out for who can spot the first raccoon. He usually wins. :)


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