Mon 1 Jul 2013
Lynn had repeatedly commented on the beautiful markings framing the face of one particular female raccoon that drops by Mitchell cabin each evening for a few slices of bread.
“Our Beautiful Raccoon,” a photograph from June 8 by Lynn Axelrod.
The same raccoon with three young kits on June 26.
We’d been wondering if Ms. Raccoon was feeding a family, and last week she confirmed our suspicions when she brought a set of young triplets along with her one evening. The kits for the most part stayed close to their mother.
Mom, as would be expected, was protective of them. Here she keeps an eye on another raccoon as it approaches the cabin.
As is often the case, one of the kits is bolder than the others. While its siblings (upper left) try to stay out of sight behind the woodbox, this one joins mom out on the deck hunting for scraps of bread.
If I accidentally drop a slice of bread before I can hand it to her, mom doesn’t hesitate to reach into the kitchen for it. That, of course, is hardly surprising. My late buddy Terry Gray, who had slept near his kitchen, told me more than once of waking up to find a raccoon, which had come in through the cat door, close to his bed hunting for food.
Besides being unsettling, the raccoons were nuisances, for Terry would have to get up and scare them back out the cat door.
All this inspired me to experiment. Would a fox do the same thing? Apparently it will at least pick a slice of bread off the kitchen floor near the door. But would it come in through a cat door if we had one? My guess is that it would be more hesitant than a raccoon to enter the cabin but might do so if it were convinced there was food inside and no human around. After all, foxes are famous for raiding hen houses.
If I’m right, it certainly would be unsettling to be awakened by some fox hunting close to my bed.
One difference in their personalities I have observed is that raccoons are content with dining restaurant style, eating their food where it’s served. Foxes prefer takeout dining. Unlike their human neighbors, they protect their privacy — which is yet another reason why you’ll never find a fox with phone or Internet service.