Artists Have Beauty Vision and Gifts


I feel blessed by my artistic ability to see wonders in life that others seem to miss. One of my wonders are the urban raccoons in my neighborhood. It saddens me that people try to hurt them when they cause no harm to anyone.

And so I share a special encounter I've had this spring with a local raccoon.

This raccoon "adopted" me several months ago. I suspect it has even been inside my house when I have been at work, entering through the dog door and ransacking my kitchen trash twice. Soon after the trash attack "a" raccoon tried vigorously to break in my locked dog door one late night which improved my circulation dramatically as the unknown intruder nearly scared me to death.

One recent evening it spotted me watering my garden from it's place across the street in the park. It disappeared only to pop up out of the storm drain on my property to stand on my sidewalk, feet away from me, and checking me out with whiskers twitching to catch my scent -- was I was friendly or menacing. It was not annoyed when I gave it a few squirts with my hose. All the time a story line was developing in my head for a children's story book which I will write within a few weeks.

Today "it" became a "she" when she brought her four new kits to show me. That is one more kit than the norm. Darling! This was obviously their first excursion on the top of a fence because they kept slipping, legs sprawling in different directions and looking rather confused. She was there to catch them with her teeth in their fur and making little raccoon sounds, mothering them and posing for me. She stayed long enough today for me to capture several photos -- maybe to paint and to add to my little story book

I suspected she was pregnant a few weeks ago when she was strolling around my property in midday looking a little rounder than most raccoons. I believe she took her nursery under the deck of my neighbor which abuts our shared fence. They will stay for about a year as have raccoons before them.

Just to know, I do not see them as pets. I do not offer them food nor do I get close enough to touch them, although one did catch me off-guard one night long ago to give my lower legs a soft warm rub with its fur and sent my heart racing.

They are protected in our area, having been hunted almost to extinction when the early pioneers arrived. Their fur was a valuable commodity in the European marketplace. I am happy they remain today. Watching them is a treat and they keep my dog exercised.

I hope you enjoy the photos and are inspired to paint something from them. I hope you will share your raccoon-art here.

Comments

It is with great sadness that I share that this mother racoon and two of her kits were purposefully run over by a neighbor last Friday; a neighbor who is one of many who do not appreciate wildlife in our neighborhood. The other two kits were left to starve. I was unable to capture them to take them to a
licensed sanctuary.

Please be a voice for the animals that we share this planet with.
Today I received an email saying a mother raccoon and her four kits popped up from the storm drain while my neighbor was watering her grass only a street-block away from my home.

It is not only hopeful that it would be the raccoon who often visited me, but even more hopeful that someone is taking note of the raccoons in a positive light and reaching out with the news.

Sometimes it takes a tragety to start a productive conversation. We are the voices of our wildlife neighbors.