Seasonal observations of an ever changing coastal landscape 
by Bold Bluff host Tamar Griggs 

Surprise Morning: Baby Raccoons

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Date: 01 May 2004
Time: 08:28:30


On April 7th, I just happened to open my front door at 6:30 AM to gaze at the day, when I heard snarling, growling and splashing in the cove. What could it be? Still in my long flannel nightie, I slipped on my gumboots and walked through the dew-soaked grass to the bank by the edge of the cove. There I spied a river otter going absolutely NUTS: he/she was swimming in tight circles splashing and growling. Mating? I wondered. The cove was still in shadow and it was hard to see, but as I stared into the shadows what do you think emerged but 2 adorable baby raccoons stuck on the iron rail at high tide with no where to go? The river otter probably chased them there. They were wimpering!

The river otter tired of the game and disappeared. But there they were, STUCK at high tide about 2 feet above the water line on a sheer cement cliff with precipitous rocks rising behind like Mount Everest to these coons. They continiued crying and rubbing noses as if for encouragement. Then they lay down on the iron rod and peered into the ocean below, contemplating their situation - their sweet black-striped faces and stand-up ears making me melt, and their striped tails hanging low.

I thought they'd be here for hours and I almost went in to make a cup of tea, but stayed - you never know what might happen. Sure enough, the bravest eventually manoevered down off the rail to the cliff and there was Mama in the bushes, encouraging it. The timid one was left. It negotiated down, but could not scamper up the steep rocks as its sibbling had done. It stretched a little paw up the rock and Mama leaned way down kissing its nose, but it withdrew its paw. Then tried again, and again Mama leaned way down to kiss it's nose as it stretched its paw up, but "no way"! This baby decided to swim to safety rather than climb up Mt. Everest. And quickly the 3 raccoons were swallowed up into the forest.

You never know what is happening right under your nose unless you take the time to sit and watch. How lucky I was that just at the moment that I opened my front door to breathe in the dawn, I heard a commotion, and I was presented to this amazing gift.

       Last changed: January 26, 2012