[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.

Click for larger image

Raccoon Kits in Tree

Mama raccoon eating Italian prunes off the tree

Raccoon Eating Plums

Her kits playing in the tree

Raccoon Kits in Tree

The whole family in a portrait post