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According to my calculations, the goslings should have hatched on the first and the lovely goose is still sitting on her eggs. I’m starting to think that maybe they won’t hatch. That would be a disappointment. Meanwhile, I looked for other things to photograph. Sure enough, I found a raccoon.

A few days earlier, when I started anticipating goslings and visiting the goose more often, I saw a raccoon with a baby in its mouth.Racoon with Baby

It’s not a very good shot. I understand that when the young are little they will live in a hole in a tree, but when they get bigger the mother moves them to the ground. This looks like a pretty big kit, so perhaps that’s what she’s doing. Today in the same location, a raccoon quietly descended a tree right next to me, but I couldn’t get a shot due to all the leave between us.

When we were kids, our house had a porch and there was always something living under it. One year it was an opossum. Another year, a skunk. We were not popular in school that year. Our whole house and all our clothes smelled of skunk every time the creature got scared and sprayed. More often then not, however, the animal under the porch was a raccoon. For those of you who are not familiar with them, these animals are shockingly smart.

So, today, after seeing the goose get up and gently turn her eggs over, so I knew they hadn’t hatched yet, I went to a locale at the edge of the lake, near a bridge, where I’d seen a raccoon. Indeed, there was a racoon where I’d seen one before. I don’t think it was the same raccoon since his face was not as white as the one I’d seen before.

raccoon at the edge of a lake in shallow water standing on his hind legs looking up

If you’re not familiar with raccoons, take a look at these hands… oops, I mean paws.

raccoon-hands

With their long digits with no webbing between them, the are remarkably dexterous. The sense of touch is extremely accute. According to Wikipedia:

The most important sense for the raccoon is its sense of touch. The “hyper sensitive” front paws are protected by a thin horny layer which becomes pliable when wet. … Almost two-thirds of the area responsible for sensory perception in the raccoon’s cerebral cortex is specialized for the interpretation of tactile impulses, more than in any other studied animal. They are able to identify objects before touching them with vibrissae located above their sharp, nonretractable claws.

Indeed, if you watch a raccoon, it’s hard to not notice that they seem to want to touch everything.

A raccoon with its hands in the water.Here, you can see the raccoon making the washing motions the he’s known for. Although they’re famous for eating just about anything, a large portion of a raccoon’s diet it comprised of invertebrates, which is probably what this critter is feeling around in the mud for.

raccoon-2I saw at least three different raccoons in the late afternoon.

Finally, a raccoon raiding the garbage.

Raccoon-ofw