Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Masked bandit in the wild...

I’ve gotten so used to seeing our piggy little raccoons lazily devouring our bird seed in our backyard at night, that when I saw this guy carefully climb out of a hole in a tree, blink a few times in the sun, climb over to a smaller branch, and then lumber back into the same hole, it came as a surprise. A raccoon in the wild! I hung around for a while and watched him reappear and disappear a few more times. It was perfect viewing. I'm sure you can already guess that as I watched this sleepy little fellow I was standing on the Little Miami Bike Trail (where I really should just pitch a tent and be done with it!). I was standing in the area where the Indigo Buntings and Scarlet Tanagers hang out, about 40 or 50 feet past the Red-tailed Hawk's nest. In this spot, the land drops off considerably on the river side of the path, and the river departs from the trail, leaving a sizeable area of swampy lowland filled with large Sycamore trees and other smaller trees that you can look into the canopy of. This fellow was eye level with me on the trail, but 40 or 50 feet from the ground in a huge old Sycamore. He didn't stay awake too long. Deciding it was too much effort to climb down the tree, he slowly made his way back into his house, and I assume fell asleep until a more reasonable hour when the moon would wash the leaves with a soft glow and the fireflies and bats would keep him company. 





33 comments:

NatureStop said...

What a pleasant surprise!!!nice images.

Sue said...

Kelly, what nice shots of him. I love seeing them someplace other than my compost heap!
And what a great place that trail must be....I'm envious!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

How nice to see them Kelly. I can sit and watch animals in thier natural habitat for ages. Great shots of him too. I really do love those cute faces.

Midmarsh John said...

What a variety of different creatures you see on the trail. It must be great to have a place like that nearby.
Lovely photos.

Ginnymo said...

Oh! How adorable he is Kelly!!! I love these photos!! I have only seen a couple of raccoons here in the 12 years I've been here. And that was at night. I'd be thrilled to see baby ones..Ha! There was a rabid one found not too far from this area yesterday. Did I tell you I got bit by one when I was two years old?? Yep. And it had rabies and I had to have those darn shots in the belly. One a day for 14 days. Yikes. Glad I can't remember that.
Hope you get to see more of him.

Jayne said...

Their masked faces, which do, for all the world make them look like bandits, is so very appropriate! Great captures!

Laure Ferlita said...

Your prose is almost lyrical in this post! Love the images you paint with such ease.

Love your masked bandit as well!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

We've got them also, Kelly, and that's why I bring my feeders (that they can get into) back into the house every night. Between the raccoons and the possums and who knows what else, we do have lots of 'night critters' out there wandering around.

You did get some great pictures of the pretty little raccoon--even though I don't like them at my home.. ha

Hugs,
Betsy

holdingmoments said...

He looks like a masked bandit. Great shots, and must have been so rewarding to spot him.
Pitching a tent at the trail sounds like a good idea to me. lol

Abe Lincoln said...

Brings back lots of memories for me of our raccoons. This one looks healthy.

I managed to get a new blog started a few days ago. It is only about flowers.

Our Flower Pot

Kelly said...

NatureStop...thank you!

Sue...exactly. I like seeing them places other than my back yard. The trail is a gem, we're so lucky it's only 5 mins away.

Joan...thank you. When watching them eat (even if it is the birdseed, it is so rewarding), but seeing them in the wild is best.

John...it is....love it. Would really like to live even closer, but we have such great neighbors I can't imagine leaving. Thank goodness it's only 5 mins away.

Ginny...Yikes....good think you can't remember. Well...we have enough to cover your share. Word is out--nighttime eats at Kelly's!

Jayne...thank you!

Laure....you're so nice...thank you! These guys make it easy to write about them with all of their antics!

Betsy....yes, they do that as well. I have had numerous feeders destroyed......I've started putting less seed in during the day, so there is less for them to eat at night.

Keith....thank you. Yes......with all the time I spend there, a tent would be best!

ShySongbird said...

Amazing photos again Kelly, he looks quite a character! Your 'bike trail' seems to be a spectacular place to walk!

Squirrel said...

Wonderful shots! Raccoons are adorable, but so mischievous!

Rob Ripma said...

Awesome shots! What a great experience!

Warren Baker said...

seems like those racoons get up to alot of mischief Kelly, a bit like our Foxes do!

Chris Petrak said...

Ah we never know what we'll see when we wake up! Imagine waking from a nap and seeing someone aiming a camera at you - enough to make me go back to sleep!

DaveABirding said...

I am pretty sure that is why they bang our trash cans in the middle of the night. To see us wake up mid-slumber, groggily walk out of our holes, look around and then retreat with a look of "its just too much effort". I'm glad they don't have cameras. Nice pics and blog.

Jenny said...

Sounds like a great place you have there to visit regularly. Fabulous photos of this bandit. We don't have anything like it over here. When I was in Iowa a few years ago I watched one in broad daylight taking small blue/black berries from a big tree (don't know what the tree was), it got right out onto the smaller branches! Amazing!

Shellmo said...

He looks cute and innocent in the tree.......but.....I know differently! ha,ha!! Cute photos.

Mary said...

How cute! I'm like you....I tend to think that all raccoons live in my backyard somewhere stealing my bird seed. I never see them wild.

Montanagirl said...

Nice pics of the Raccoon. Looks like a little bandit.

Kallen305 said...

So cute Kelly! Baby racoons are adorable!

Roy said...

Lovely images Kelly.
We would have never guessed where you were though. {:)

Tutta la Storia said...

Ohh! I just want to give him a little squeeze!!!

Aunt "B's" Backyard said...

Oh, I just love those little guys, they are so cute!

JPT said...

Very nice, I just can't believe that people can hurt these creatures.

Alan said...

Cute little fellow isn't he? There always fun to watch. Neat find!

Tutta la Storia said...

I had to come back nd say that when I was getting Ella's bottle (at 4am this morning) I heard a noise out on the feeders and I put the floodlight on and IT WAS A RACCOON!!!!! Looks like we have bigger problems then squirrels!! Too funny!

Chris said...

HI Kelly,
Exellent and really funny... I love these bandits but have never seen one, except in zoo when I was a kid!! Fantastic pictures and nice encounter.

Tabib said...

Beautiful cute little raccoon.
Nice 'Zoro' eye!

dAwN said...

Awe.....cuteness overload...I think you do need to pitch a tent there..
lots of good birdies and critters!

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Heather said...

I'm thankful that we don't have raccoons raiding our bird feeders (at least not that I know of!) The squirrels may be annoying, but I think the 'coons would be worse. Seeing them in the wild, though, is fine with me. I like your sleepy little fellow.

RuthieJ said...

They're so funny, aren't they? Those are really cute pictures Kelly.