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September 2013



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"Wild" animals...

They love "Daddy", originally uploaded by graphicartepsi.

My wonderful veterinarian, Pete Rucker, is a wildlife rehabilitator--I've mentioned that before. When he has charges to rescue, he often calls me to see if I want to take photos or sketch--invariably, I DO. Saturday, I had just gotten home from the emergency room and my finger hurt like hell...but who can resist raccoon babies?

I went.

And was well rewarded, obviously! I got dozens of wonderful photos to use later in my work (unfortunately this time I was unable to sketch like I did when they were younger, since I couldn't hold a pencil comfortably!)

They'll be weaned away from humans, as much as possible--though now, obviously, they love "daddy" and he takes very good care of them as well. This is not normal behavior for wild animals--they should be wary of humans.

So what to do about this fellow?

A raccoon-ish kind of season

It's fully grown, and exhibits no fear of me whatsoever. It came right up on the deck with me last night and allowed me to get some very close photos--most were slightly blurry because I was a bit cautious!  (I wasn't quite THIS close, by the way...I had the zoom on.)

Tonight I was painting on the front porch, working in my sketch journal, when I happened to catch motion out of the corner of my eye. There it was again, on the porch railing maybe 18 inches from me. It reached over and tried to get onto the table with me, and I realized I REALLY needed to discourage this kind of familiarity. Aside from the danger to the 'coon, they, with skunks and bats, are some of the most common carriers of rabies. I didn't want it to have to lose its life to be checked for the disease, and my sweetheart reminded me that that's what has to happen, if you're nipped by a wild one...

It didn't seem sick (though my neighbors Kevin and Sonya said they'd had one in their garage yesterday that was acting strange), but still...adorable and charming though they may be, we need to respect one another's boundaries. This is not a Disney movie.

I tried going "SHOO," but it ignored me and kept coming, looking for food, of which I had none. Finally I blew gently in its face and that was sufficient...it skittered off the railing and under the porch.

I'm not scared of much in nature, but it's necessary to respect the Otherness of these creatures.

Now if I could just convince it to respect MINE!


Heh. You still have the possum's collar lying around? =)
You are SUCH a smartie!

And no. ;-)
I envy your proximity to nature. I was brought up in houses with gardens and with countryside nearby. I now live in a condo/flat in mid air and up many flights of stairs. I occasionally go on trips (e.g. the Isles of Scilly) or to stay at the seaside to stay with an aunt or house sit for my mum. I have to cram my love of the natural into a few weeks of the year and let that renew my spirit...
That would be difficult for me, yes. This is a small town and I live near the edge of it. I've had a flock of wild turkeys fly over my back yard, and seen a fox run down the middle of the street! I love it...


Raccoons can quickly become use to people and being fed by them...while showing little or no fear...not a good idea to feed them of course...I think your very wise to discourage your rather bold visitor. the people who use to live there may have fed them or left food out for their pets.

Re: Raccoons

They just get into everything! There's a lot of trash and garbage cans around, always plenty for them to eat, I guess. No one has lived next door for a year, and I don't have outdoor cats any more, but they always seem to find something...

I've always found them to be really bold, though! They find the birdseed under the feeder, or bits of bread, and then want MORE. I haven't kept birdseed in the old tin container out back for years, because they found it and ate it all, but they still come and prise the lid off the thing...

Re: Raccoons

So far I haven't seen any raccoons around my bird feeders...but I do have squirrels, and a skunk now and then along with the birds of course...but yes Raccoons are very bold and clever at getting into things.

Re: Raccoons

Oooh, I'm glad skunks are very infrequent visitors around here!