Thursday, June 02, 2011

Too late, too slow, too dark

I had left the back door wide open to catch a bit of fresh air. Shutting it, I startled a young raccoon under the fence; he ran out, stopped to look at me for a second, then left, stage right. Luckily, the camera was on my desk, barely a step away. Not so happily, it took its time powering on. I took a photo, without even waiting to focus, but missed:

Too late!

I ran out to the lawn; I found the raccoon out in the open behind a neighbour's place, but he scuttled into a hedge, then back onto the lawn. He hesitated, watching me warily, then detoured around me and dashed into the cedars. I was too slow, again.

I like this photo; unfocused, cut off, blurred, and burnt out as it is, it captures the raccoon's hurry and panic.

At least I got three legs this time.

Through the branches, I saw him climbing a tree. He stopped half-way, peering down at me from the shelter of the trunk.

This time, I got his face. Part of it. See the white nose, the black "bandit" mask? And the ear?

This was a fairly small raccoon, scruffy and skinny. I got the idea that he is out alone in the world for the first time, and not making too good a go of it. He seemed very uncertain as to how to deal with me; older, fatter raccoons usually look at me, then go about their business, unfazed.

I hope he finds his way back to the vacant lot across the street, where there is abundant cover and food under the blackberry vines and alders.


  1. i do like the foot in that one photo - caught in time...

  2. I have the same issue when trying to photograph birds. Usually, unless they are willing to pose for a prolonged period of time, all I get is a blur!!!

    It does sound like he is a youngster, and I hope he makes it. It's a big bad world out there for the raccoons living near humans.

  3. I, too, am surprised the raccoon in your photo showed fear. The ones hanging around my neighborhood and that venture onto my yard simply stare at me as if I was the trespasser. From their perspective, I very well could be. :)

  4. Reminds me of one time we came home to find a raccoon came in the kitty door. After we discovered him in the kitchen (munching away) we tried to shoo him out. Rather than running away, he turned on us and chased us back into the garage. We decided to let him find his own way out. - Margy

  5. He was back again last night. Still afraid of us.

    Margy, I would have loved to see that! :D

  6. Cute hope you get a good shot next time. Did you see the episode of Nature of Things on racoons - i was quite surprised about their story in Japan!


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