On recent kayak outings, I have encountered some more Raccoons (Procyon lotor), who are always so fun to watch. The first encounter includes a pair of juvenile raccoons that were observed only after hearing quite a “thrashing” sound coming from the treetops. I don’t know if these two were just playing around (this first image gives this perception):
or, if they were just awaking from a nap! In either case, one of the raccoons heard my camera shutter, looked down, and saw me watching them:
Shortly after the last image was made, both raccoons scurried down the tree and off they went! I continued my kayaking, photographing some warblers and dragonflies along the way. About an hour later, I heard a bit of a splashing noise and noticed a raccoon foraging at the water’s edge, with 3 little kits. In the first image, Momma was aware of me, but not very concerned. But look at the little kit peeking from behind Mom:
Then Mom’s instincts kicked in and she decided to further check me out:
After looking me over and sniffing in the air for signs of danger, Mom continued foraging for about a minute. Then she turned and headed up the bank, with the 3 little ones right behind her! I don’t think she was very concerned with my presence, but was likely just trying to instill awareness and caution in the little ones.
A while back, I posted on a family of Mom and 5 kits (“Mom’s Gonna Teach Us How to Catch Fish ‘n’ Frogs ‘n’ OtherStuff!”) at this location. I don’t know if this is the same family, less 2 of the kits, or if this happened to be a different family visiting me. And there could have possibly been 2 more kits hidden in the thick cover along the bank that I could not count. I’ll never know, but I’m certainly looking forward to my next encounter with the masked clowns!