The cute little raccoon family has been getting some flack lately from kids and cats. And so the mama decided that she was going to pick up and move to a different den yesterday afternoon. Since the tree is in our back yard, she was bringing her babies down into our yard and we came out of the house when one of the babies protested, loudly, to being drug from her warm and cozy home and thrust into the great world beyond. It was a similar noise to the tom cat and the mama raccoon fighting the other night and so I thought that the mama may have been fighting with one of my cats... but no. Our cats were out there. But just as an audience. ;) It was the baby screeching... obviously scared to death. And you can see why... that den is WAY up there. I am hoping they are all safe and secure in their new den now... we probably won't see them again.
Here is a link to the large slideshow if you want to see it full screen.
This is a great time to give a plug to one of my favorite authors. Shirley Woods is an amazing nature author. He has studied many animals and written stories about what that animals life must be like in the wild. Woods doesn't pull any punches... he is a nature writer... so brothers and sisters of the baby animals die to feed other animals. The circle of life in the wild is clear. One of the raccoons brothers gets hit by a car. The foxes sister gets carried away by a hawk. But my kids were absolutely transfixed by the story.
Without reading this book I may have never known that raccoons have three or four different dens each year and they switch between them when they feel stressed about their home at all. There are many aspects of nature that you don't see unless you follow them for a whole season. And that is hard to do. But these books do that and more... they describe why the animals have their queer little habits and how their behavior may help them survive in the wild.
I describe these books to my friends as being like Meerkat Manor... but in book form. Real nature. The ones we have owned are Amber: The Story of the Red Fox, and Kit: The Adventures of a Raccoon. We loved them both.