STORIES FROM THE WOODS XXV ~ “Raccoon, My Uninvited Guest”

RACCOON 5/16

Lunchtime and I’m enjoying it outside when suddenly – out of nowhere – this raccoon comes walking straight towards me – took this quick photo. op – when he shockingly was about to crawl right on me to grab my food – that’s when I jumped up and away so fast ! I was shocked how quickly and aggressively he came after my food. He looked gigantic when he was coming towards me but he was probably 25 pounds. The real issue with raccoons is that they have incredible hands capable of manipulating and lifting tops of trash cans and are strong enough to prey things open. They are opportunists and take advantage of any food source. Once more, their little hands have very sharp claws and even though they look cute – raccoons are wild animals !

Living out in nature as much as I do – naturally I encounter wildlife – I respect their ways and practice keeping a safe distance while I am observing them. This was the first time I witnessed a raccoon being so bold. They do not make good pets because as they mature they become increasingly aggressive and territorial. Another reality is that raccoons, like all wildlife carry diseases and parasites.

It’s actually more humane Not to feed raccoons and other wildlife because your intentional feeding causes them to become increasingly dependent on humans which backfires when they get into trouble and become unwanted pests.

If humans intentionally feed and have trash and pet food accessible to raccoons – they will over populate in a small geographical area – creating higher risks of diseases and increased pest incidents.

These smart animals are most active at night but can be seen anytime of the day. Raccoons can travel great distances to find food and they will eat just about anything from fruit to small rodents and fish to garbage – so they are real survivors ! If you want to help raccoons and wildlife survive and stay wild don’t feed them human food !

To see some of the newest National Park Paintings – go to Woods Cove Art Gallery, 1963 South Coast Hwy. in Laguna Beach !

2016 is the Fourth Year of my QUEST – to paint ‘live’ in every National Park in America !
Now having totally committed my life and talents to help promote and protect the Parks, I am traveling by truck and trailer to each Park. Then hiking, kayaking and horseback riding in search of the ultimate scene. Finally setting up with portable easel and oil paints, I set out to capture in paint, the wonders that make each National Park a treasure to Americans and all the people of the world !