The baby raccoons first appeared with their mother one morning about a month ago. They were just over cup-full sized and very shy. They seldom ventured into the yard but would hang out around or in a big tree at the corner, peaking out at the activity with brightly curious eyes. Mom would then come on in the yard, as has been her habit for a while, looking for some of the bird seed that I spread for our winged visitors every day.
Since the cooners’ visit tended to come around 9:00 or so every morning, I’d gotten in the habit of throwing out a few table scraps or some bits of bread for Mom. She’d come right up to the back door to eat, would, in fact, come running when she heard the door open. Lana had even enticed her in to taking bread from her hand.
Over time, the young ones started coming into the yard every morning with Mom but would run for a tree if I opened the back door. They mostly got over that but would run if I stepped out on the back porch with bird seed. Soon, one, and then two of the small ones, would come up to the back door with Mom looking for the bread I threw out. As of today, July 14, 2016, they all came up. One first, then a second, then the third and fourth. And when I stepped out to feed, only two of the little ones ran. The other two stayed right there with Mom while I moved around in the yard and put out seed.
After I came back inside from feeding, I saw the cutest thing. The two bravest little ones, those who had stayed with Mom in the yard, ran for the tree in the corner where their two siblings had fled. They climbed up and, it seemed to me, ushered their shyer brothers/sisters down and back into the yard to take part in the largess. Right now they are all five (4 kits, 1 Mom) gathered in one spot, hovering up seed as fast as their paws can move.
I know lots of folks don’t like raccoons and they can indeed pose some dangers, but being able to look out at them, and interact with them, makes me feel a little bit a part of nature. And maybe, it seems, I’m giving a little back to the natural world that has given me so much pleasure and always been there for me during the sadder times.