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!