I don’t know how much longer I can go without pulling out another bird post. The anxiety is giving me a twitch, but I’ll persevere. Pulling these babies out because it helps to remind me what it was like when there wasn’t SNOW on the ground. This Winter is unbelievable capped off by a 46 degree day Sunday, Thunder Snow on Tuesday, Snow on Wednesday and now 46 again today. If there is a silver lining, I’ve been able to get two of my training runs outside this week!
Although this post features the babies, it seems only right that I give a quick shout out to their mother. As much as I enjoy Raccoon babies, adult Raccoons are a menace. However, since I will not harass expecting mothers or parents with their children this particular adult (mother) went unharmed.
Clearly she didn’t recognize my benevolence based on the hostility being issued in my general direction. Relax, you and your babies will live another day.. but I will be getting my camera because those babies are just too damn cute. One given with these young ones, when spooked they always head to the trees. Typically the mother will high tail it into the woods in an attempt to draw me away. She’ll hang out under the cover until the cost is clear and then start calling them out of the tree.
I am pretty sure the mother had either met tragedy or decided they were old enough to fend for themselves when they returned a number of weeks later. If the coyotes were not enough danger, our neighbors have no tolerance for them (regardless of age). When their off my property they are pretty much tempting fate every minute they makes themselves visible. On the other hand, when they found my temporary feeder location on the porch they definitely took advantage.
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a number of offspring while living out here in the deep woods. Typically there are 3 to 4 in each litter that make it to this age. The makeup of that litter is also surprisingly common. There’s the more aggressive one that is less fearless than the others and is the first to come out into the open.
Then there will be one that is way to timid – the last to emerge from the woods and the first to high tail it out of the area if there is any unexpected sound or motion. Want to guess which one tends to meet an unfortunate end the first? It is the more aggressive one – not smart enough to now its limitations and will cease to show up in a week or two. Oddly enough, the overly timid one will go missing a little bit after that – to timid to nourish properly and thus unable to be strong enough to avoid the threats. It is kind of sad looking at the litter and being able to guess which ones will not make it. The middle one or two have a much greater chance of making it to adulthood. Good news for them, but once they become adults they lose their cuteness protection and they are subject to my wrath if they start pillaging my feeders or tearing up the place – and trust me, those opposable thumbs can do some serious destruction.
hit the jump to see a few more shots of these cute creatures
I felt sorry for this particular one. It had a bad run in with a locust tree in the area and ended up getting one of those nasty thorns through its ear.
It must have eventually fallen out since it was missing in future visits. For a moment I thought about helping to pull it out .. for like a millisecond and then my senses came to me – they may look cute and cuddly, but they can still inflict some unwanted harm with those feet and razor sharp teeth.
I’ll just keep my distance.
I really liked the shot below – the expression in the middle one makes me smile every time I see it.
Speaking of the timid one…
He or she (not sure which) kept those eyes glued to me whenever I moved to get a better angle for the shots. The following is another one of my favorites – talk about a defensive position – all angles properly protected from evildoers. The one with the arm up on the porch doesn’t seem to be taking it as seriously as his brothers and sisters.
For the longest time I couldn’t figure out how they were getting to my temporary feeder location. We had to take a large tree down just off the porch which is where the feeders were originally hanging. Until I could get the new feeder built (link here) I decided to hang them off the porch. Eventually the “how” was answered. Nimble little creatures.
I call this last one “The Initiation”
If you walk in front of that human’s porch door we’ll make you part of our gang! Meanwhile we’ll stay on the other side of this here railing. Rizzi and Kerby didn’t appreciate this act of bravery one bit!
Well, that’s it for tonight. Need go study up on some work materials and then hit the hay. Bandits out.