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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Nocturnal visitor

My wife was in the kitchen and I was working at my computer. Suddenly she yelled for me to come to the kitchen and look out the window. Three stories below us was a raccoon tip-toeing between our building and our neighbors brownstone to the right. I've seen plenty of raccoons in Prospect Park but never one venturing into the adjacent neighborhoods. He gave us a casual glance and continued towards the basement passageway. I grabbed my camera and ran downstairs. It was getting dark and I couldn't tell if he was in our basement area or the neighbors. Pressing the focus on my camera triggered a dim pre-flash that illuminated his eyes. I snapped a few photos then chased him away from the garbage pails. When I went back upstairs he was still in the courtyard between buildings, preening. Our neighbor opened her window to look and he got spooked. The steathy bandit ambled off and around to the back of the buildings west of our home.

Wayward Raccoon (Procyon lotor)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

-Click here for more info about raccoons-


Dope on the Slope said...

Wow. I suspected there were racoons around here, but I hadn't seen one in my four years as a resident.

Ever see any possums?

Rob J. said...

We used to have possums in Prospect Park. When the city stopped enforcing the leash law in the park we eventually found several possums killed by dogs. I haven't seen any since 1999.

Eric M. said...

About five years ago, my wife and I were coming home from Manhattan in a cab, around midnight. At the corner of 4th Avenue and Pacific Street, a man had stopped traffic, and his buddy was chasing a raccoon the size of a small bear back and forth, trying to keep it from getting run over. 4th and Pacific, mind you, not the most pastoral corner of our fair borough.

Walker said...

Of course I don't live in NY, but this is a true story.

My dog started waking me up every night barking like mad. I yelled. I punished. But still he barked.

One night I went out to the kitchen to prove to him there was nothing there. I opened the cabinet under the sink and out popped and enormous raccoon. I shut the cabinet quickly. My dog didn't bark. He didn't jump for the coon. He just sat down in front on me with a look on his face that screamed: SEE I TOLD YOU SO!! I've never seen a more vindicated look on a dog's face.

Rob J. said...

That's the funniest story. My wife and I were laughing out loud as we read it. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I live in park slope now- no racoons- but when I lived in Berkeley, California, the old house I sublet a room in had a racoon family in the roof attic, which somehow attracted then chased rats into the main part of the house, which were carrying fleas... it was a nightmare. The baby racoon was really cute, but living with them was not cool. Apparently Berkeley had a major problem with that because the city had done some kind of eradication from the parks, so they all moved into homes. I think we'd know if they were getting populous here, because from hearing them while camping at night in various places, they are super loud when searching through trash at night.

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