Wednesday July 23, 2003

Rick & Rack's Big Adventure!

My friend Marian, in Nashville, TN, is blessed with a home on the edge of a wooded space. Her backyard is host to many wild creatures - deer, raccoons, and flying squirrels! She shares their stories and photos with us on my favorite mailing list. Recently, she had a visit from a pair of young raccoon twins, out for a big adventure without mama. With her permission, I'm sharing it here.

This morning I got up about 7 AM. There were two baby raccoons, without Mama, on the tree feeder. They were eating shelled corn.

This is the first time I have ever seen the babies without their mama, and the first time during the day....

I photographed them doing all kinds of acrobatic tricks on the tree feeder. I was shooting into the morning light, and it was overcast. So I knew the photos would be dark and grainy. Still, I was delighted to photograph these babies at all.

Soon, a deer arrived. The little guys (I call them Rick & Rack), got scared. They could not run down the path they came from, and into the woods, since that was where the deer was standing. So they did what they knew they could- they went up the tree. And up the tree. And UP the tree. This is a really tall tree (at lease twice the height of our 2 story house). The little guys went way up until you could not see them at all, except with binoculars.

Now, of course I know that they live in trees, and are excellent climbers. But they were so far up, and all huddled together, and on a thin upper branch. It was getting windy- storms were brewing. I really was scared for them.

I went out, and put a treat on the corn feeder, so if they made it down safely, they could have something special. I put out apple pieces, and 2 marshmallows....

Eventually they did come down- very very slowly and carefully. But they were up at the tip top for 30-45 minutes. They had to be scared. They were completely wrapped around each other.

When they made it down the tree, one of them immediately found a marshmallow. Then the other one did. Rick and Rack were so funny- they did not eat their marshmallow, but proceeded to lick it over and over until it was all gone. Then they licked their paws, and the top of the feeder where they had held their treat. After that, they ate the apples, then one fell off the feeder! (It was only about 4 feet up, so he was not hurt). But I hate to think about what would have happened had they fallen from the top of that tree.

Off they went, then, back into the woods and to mama. I bet they think twice about doing that again!

Here is the big adventure I photographed. Including the end of the tree decent, and eating their marshmallows :)

Thanks Marian!

Rick & Rack's Big Adventure! ( in category Nature/Cats ) - posted at Wed, 23 Jul, 10:50 Pacific | «e»