July 1, 2011

Raccoon Babies Melt My Heart

I love baby animals and there are plenty to see this time of year throughout the Willamette Valley and Coastal Hills: calves, lambs, goat kids, foals, an occasional little stinker, and spotted fawns. But the one baby that absolutely melts my heart into a puddle of mush is a baby raccoon.

One neighborhood mama often checks the cat food bowls in my carport for leftovers and I was surprised one night when I returned home and almost "bumped" into her. She stood up on her
haunches and raised her paws, like a crossing guard stopping traffic, and then a little youngin' appeared from the carport and scurried by. And then another. And then another. Once the trio of cuteness were safely past me, she lowered her paws and scampered off after them. Instant mushpot. I couldn't stop cooing.

So I was very pleased to have the opportunity to paint this portrait of wildlife lovers Grape Lady and Cracker Man and some of their rascally friends:

Grape Lady is a talented photographer and chronicles her interaction with her "backyard bandits" in her blog The Raccoon Chronicles. If those little rascals don't melt your heart, I don't know what will. Those little faces! I just want to pinch their cheeks!

Now I'm well aware that some folks don't take kindly to urban wildlife. I do take kindly to them. I'm of the opinion that WE are actually the urban wildlife. In general, the other critters were here first and we have encroached on them by creating urbanization. So when it comes to wildlife visiting my backyard, I cut them a lot of slack. And share. And enjoy!


Carmen Linda said...

We have 190 acres of conservation grasses, trees, forest reserve and are a release site for skunks, raccoons, oppossums and we have one raccoon that comes and practically knocks on our patio door when he is hungry. We give him his bowl of cat food near the ramp on our deck and we feed our feral cat Wiley on the other side of the deck.

Susan Faye said...

Rustic Hollow Shelter sounds like a wonderful place, Carmen Linda! Keep up the good work!

Cameron said...

Raccoons are soo cute! I think most animals in their baby state are hard not to coo over ;P

Love the art! What an adorable clan!

Plushpussycat said...

Susan, I am totally with you on the urban wildlife! We have a huge ancient cherry tree in our backyard, and one night I watched mama and five babbies eating cherries in the tree. Talk about cooing! I love watching all the critters we have around here--it's wonderful!

Cyndi said...

Yay! A new blog to follow! Too cute. :)