My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Raccoon enjoying rose hips


I took advantage of the Presidents Day holiday to walk around Allegany State Park in search of something to photograph. Chickadees and Juncos were the most commonly found birdies flittering around Red House Lake (but I could not find any Crossbills). Along ASP Rt2, I located this blackish-gray thing up in a shrub and instantly squealed my breaks for a better look!

The Raccoon from a distance!

I wasn’t sure what this fuzz ball was at first but it wasn’t till the mammal revealed its black mask that I realized we had a Raccoon in the small branches. It appeared to be carefully balancing in the multi-flora rose and trying to gather the available rose hips within its cute little paws.


A few hours later I returned to the area to check on the Raccoon and found this little guy working the rose hips in a different part of the shrub (still balancing on its tippy toes).   I had also found a Raccoon the other day feeding in an old Apple Tree and I think he was just as acrobatic climbing around the branches as this one today was.  I wonder if rose hips or rotten apples would be better eating? . . . bet the one Raccoon eating the 5 month old apples got a buzz!


I just love finding Raccoons who are not feeding in my trash can (ugg that season should be here soon).  Even better when they are very cooperative in allowing me to capture a few pictures of it!

Raccoon Profile
Raccoon Profile

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28 responses

  1. You’ve actually made the racoon look very sweet! (I used to have nightmares about those things after 5 of them chased me to my dorm room in my college days when I exited my car near a dumpster. Ah…the good ole days!)

    16 February 2009 at 8:02 pm

  2. I loved the pictures. But the title was most impressive. Very clever.

    16 February 2009 at 8:07 pm

  3. NatureShutterbug

    The close-up photos are gorgeous – very crisp and sharp. The raccoons here, along with possums and skunks used to try to get the cat food. It was quite interesting to see a family of raccoons bunched at the patio glass sliding door, peering in. They are quite intimidating close up. I have resorted to keeping my trash inside for the whole week (two cans in the kitchen). If I have to put stuff outside in the bins, I keep the bins closed with bungee cords. Otherwise, there is 100% guarantee that the bin will be on its side with the trash all over the place the next day.

    16 February 2009 at 8:42 pm

  4. Oh, so cute.

    Except when they move into my chimney and destroy its lining.

    Outside, eating rose hips and looking cute, is just the place for a raccoon to be.

    16 February 2009 at 9:01 pm

  5. I’m amazed those thin branches could support that raccoon!
    We just barely missed a raccoon crossing the road the other morning when we were driving to work. Those few warmer days we had must have woken a few of them up.

    16 February 2009 at 9:06 pm

  6. Super photos, Tom.
    There is something so personable looking in raccoons. I think the mask gives them a quasi-human appearance. Not that they look like people, but . . .Just can’t quite put my finger on it.

    16 February 2009 at 9:47 pm

  7. They do have very expressive, engaging faces. I think that one had a cold and needed an extra dose of vitamin C!.

    16 February 2009 at 10:19 pm

  8. Oh I want to kiss his wet black nose while grabbing his furry cheeks! 🙂 He probably wouldn’t like that much and claw my eyes out. 😦
    Nice photography!

    16 February 2009 at 10:54 pm

  9. Your skill in photography continues to amaze me..sure would be nice to get lessons from you if I were near..but I’m not so I continue to get inspiration from your moving photos. I feel I can reach out and touch them! Those birds in previous post…stunning!!

    16 February 2009 at 11:21 pm

  10. He’s very cute. I don’t get to see many raccoons and would think it a great treat to run across one some day. Really nice photos! The little guy even gave you a profile pose.

    16 February 2009 at 11:32 pm

  11. I love these pictures of raccoons. It reminds me of a book I read years ago by Sterling North, Racc0ons are the Brightest People. And, I think the raccoon eating the rose hips knows he is getting his essential vitamins. I have yet to make friends with raccoons, but I think you are on a great start.

    17 February 2009 at 2:06 am

  12. Great photos of the racoon. I had not idea they ate rose hips.

    17 February 2009 at 5:47 am

  13. They always look gentler and sweeter than their true personalities…lol! Wonderful photos Tom. :c)

    17 February 2009 at 6:34 am

  14. As always, a joy to read. Your photography and text is quite engaging. Such a delight to see these fellow in “the wild”. My most exciting find yesterday was a beautiful pheasant. Did I have my camera? Of course not. I was only on a quick jaunt to the store. Lesson learned!

    17 February 2009 at 6:44 am

  15. Great pictures! I don’t have critters like this around my property since it’s still too new and the plants too immature, but someday soon; I hope! Or based on readers comments, I should feel lucky now that I don’t 🙂

    17 February 2009 at 6:56 am

  16. Andrea

    What great photos!
    Usually when I come across something like this I don’t have my camera, and it’s always in the most unlikely place…

    17 February 2009 at 8:29 am

  17. Dear Tom,
    Amazing! My racoons come at night and eat from the bird feeders and suet cages! I do think they are interesting aniamls. To see one in the daylight wonderful.
    I think he looks funny in the rose bush…

    17 February 2009 at 9:35 am

  18. Too cute! Nice to see them doing something “natural”!

    17 February 2009 at 9:56 am

  19. Wonderful photos. You don’t see them out during the day much.

    We have had two raccoons raiding the bird feeders. They are so clever how they get the seeds out of the squirrel-proof feeder. So, I have to put the feeders in the shed at night now.

    Trying to get rid of our multi-flora rose around here. It’s a major nuisance.

    17 February 2009 at 10:43 am

  20. Marg

    He sure does look cute up there in that tree!

    17 February 2009 at 11:37 am

  21. @ Shelley – he he . . glad it was only a nightmare! Ugg
    @ ncmountainwoman – thanks and glad you enjoyed!
    @ NatureShutterbug – we have problems with them around here like that also! I only put enough bird seed to last the birds for the day (and nothing is left over overnight).
    @ Wren – thanks and that isn’t fun at all! They can be cute looking!
    @ Ruthie – exactly, that’s what I was thinking!
    @ KGMom – thanks and I do love their appearance! Thanks
    @ Lynne – he he he . . that must be it! 🙂
    @ Letspaint – isn’t his nose cute, I think that is the best part of the little guy! I was using my 400mm . . . I prob wouldn’t have gotten any closer to it!
    @ Naturegirl – thanks you are too kind! My biggest suggestion is to just be out there and the photos will come to you! That is half the battle is how much you spend outside!
    @ Linda – thanks and one the one second it turned away from me!
    @ Robert – great book and I do think it was looking for some vitamins!
    @ Kallen – thanks and guess some birds will also!
    @ Jayne – They can be nasty but this one was very laid back!
    @ Karen – Thanks and you are very kind! You just never know when you are missing a photo!
    @ Kelley – if they do show up in your area . . hope they are not the trash collector kind! Thanks for your kind words!
    @ Andrea – Thanks and I was lucky with this one! That’s for sure!
    @ Sherry – thanks and I never leave enough food outside that they can get it at night . . just what little is on the ground! I have been doing that for a long time now! Saves on the cost of wasted seeds!
    @ Liza – thanks and it was nice!
    @ Joan – Thanks and I wouldn’t have been surprised if this guy was napping up there also! We have a multi-flora rose problem here also!
    @ Marg – thanks

    17 February 2009 at 12:03 pm

  22. jaina

    those are the cutiest little fur balls i’ve ever seen!!!

    17 February 2009 at 12:09 pm

  23. I think that raccoon is giving you the evil eye! 😉

    Kudos on such sharp pics, as usual. I’m trying not to turn green with envy!

    17 February 2009 at 3:48 pm

  24. Great raccoon photos, tom. They are such picturesque creatures and sometimes quite cooperative for the camera. I wouldn’t have guessed a raccoon would go for rosehips, but here it is. Yum yum.

    17 February 2009 at 5:09 pm

  25. Lisa at Greenbow

    Such a handsome creature.

    17 February 2009 at 9:08 pm

  26. Grace

    That little guy is probably going to spread the multiflora rose even more. I am mad at raccoons–hope he got thorns in his paws!

    17 February 2009 at 10:23 pm

  27. Excellent series of raccoon images. Looks like you had some very cooperative and photogenic models.

    18 February 2009 at 1:24 am

  28. @ jaina – I know right!
    @ Rurality – no doubt he is! Thanks!
    @ Robin – Thanks and sometimes is more like almost never . . but they are sometimes!
    @ Lisa – thanks
    @ Grace – I am more than sure of that! I was worried that myself!
    @ Right Blue – Thanks and he was a great Model!

    18 February 2009 at 8:13 pm

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