[Photo processing: These images were shot in under-exposed conditions and required more post-processing than usual. I took some artistic liberty with selective desaturation to deemphasize the contrasts, etc.]
Just a few days into my Seattle relocation, the friends who generously housed us, pointed to some ruckus in a tree. Since ruckus in a tree often signals animal activity, I grabbed my camera and crept into the shade of a Northwest canopy.
Overhead I saw this … a family of four North American raccoons (Procyon locator), mama and three grown kits. They’d been foraging on fruit trees, zeroing in on their favorite Italian prunes. The mother raccoon, maternal and instructive as mother raccoons are, led three growing juveniles on a hunt for sustenance in my friend’s garden.
It was a unique opportunity to watch and photograph a raccoon family in daylight, something that happens more often during kit-rearing season when the need for food brings raccoon families into the light and beyond their dusky, crepuscular ways.
Mama raccoon eating Italian prunes off the tree
Her kits playing in the tree
The whole family in a portrait post
I love these fellows, and you got some great angles.
Thanks very much, Maria. I was shooting at high ISO before I had a camera and lens that could handle high ISO. So, I did quite a bit of post-processing on these shots. Hope you are well!
What camera did you use? The Oly?
That was my old E-3 and my budget 70-300mm lens, both of which really struggled with low light situations.
How is your dove rescue? 🙂
They are fabulous, I still can’t get over how you got those angles! Where were you standing? And you didn’t scare them off!
Thanks. They were in a tree behind the house and I was standing below the branches where they played. I approached them slowly at first to see how they would react to me. They were curious and cautious, but I didn’t see any signs of alarm, so I inched a bit closer. All of these were shot at the long end of my 300mm which is 600mm equivalent on the Olympus with the 2x crop factor. I think raccoons are relatively safe in that neighborhood. I wouldn’t say they were habituated, but they weren’t so skittish as to run away or show distress. It’s always such a moving experience when you can, indeed, connect with wild animals who haven’t yet learned to be fearful of us.
First of all. How nice that your friend is tolerant of them.
One of my coworkers just shot a young raccoon that was hanging around his backyard.
I’m lucky enough that I live in an older housing development that has many mature trees. I’ve encountered raccoons several times in my backyard.
Hopefully they know that my yard is a sanctuary for them and they are always welcome. I wish more people would embrace nature instead of trying to subdue it!
I love these images, Ingrid. I really do! I got about a half dozen close-up shots of a raccoon a few days ago and I was pretty excited about them. But they don’t hold a candle to these, because of the personality that shines through in your images. Well done!
What adorable “bandits” snitching plums! I don’t know that there’s an animal cuter than a raccoon — But baby raccoons??? That’s over the top heart-melting stuff! <3
I have to say that you are one talented photographer! Amazing shots! Thanks
[…] These photos were part of a simple shoot in my friend’s backyard — one I posted about recently, an unexpected daytime visit by a mother raccoon and her growing kits. […]