When I lived on the Outer Banks I was fortunate to have a house located on 12.5 acres, surrounded by Nature Conservancy land, so it was not uncommon to be visited by critters of all kinds (read about them here). I had deer, fox, snakes, HUGE snapping turtles, nutria, giant Osprey, big ‘ol green warty bullfrogs and one inch long tree frogs in colors ranging from lime green to bright orange, Great Blue Herons, possum, rats – you name it. But the one thing I never saw was a raccoon. I KNOW they were there – I saw their tracks. Not to mention I had to bungee down my garbage can lids or they would tear up my trash and spread it all over the yard.
I had hoped that I would see a raccoon before I left the Outer Banks forever. But I never caught a glimpse of one. Sometimes we get our wishes in ways that we would never have imagined. In Sarasota, several stray cats live around the complex where I now live and the building manager, having a soft spot in her heart for cats, leaves food for them at the far end of the building near the laundry shed. The cat food also attracts a family of raccoons. I’ve seen them occasionally but they scurry away whenever I approach with a basket full of laundry.
Today, however, as I was returning from my daily hike to downtown, I heard some rustling in the front yard of my apartment building as I was passing by. At first I couldn’t figure out what was making the noise until I looked closer. I never knew raccoons were climbers but these critters were all over the palm trees, even hanging upside down. They are sooooo cute – but this is as close as I want to get to them.