Skip to main content

Motorboating raccoon

I really like raccoons, and that, I know, is not a universal sentiment. Get a couple of the masked bandits in the attic, and chaos can ensue. The wily beasts discover your garbage in the garage, and havoc might be wrought. But you've got to hand it to the critters - they are nearly on a par with most humans (so it would seem) when it comes to smarts.

David and Laura Hughes sent me several outstanding trail cam videos recently, including the following. We've all seen the little handlike paw prints of raccoons on the muddy banks of streams and ponds, and here is one in the act of making those prints. But what is really cool is its buddy, who soon swims into the picture. He/she is just happily motorboating about, so it would seem.

Video: David and Laura Hughes

Raccoons, Procyon lotor. Shot in October, 2013, Monroe County, Ohio.

Comments

Sue said…
How cool!
My hubby does battle with these nimble footed critters in our birdfeeders. The dexterity they possess is amazing.....and frustrating. Seems no matter what he does to try to keep the suet from them (yet accessible to birds) only works for a little while before they figure a way to get it out.
Loved the video. It's interesting to see what goes on in the night......
Only one time have I seen a racoon swim. I was amazed. I didn't know they did that. It doesn't surprise me when I think about how coordinated they are. They can be rascals.

Popular posts from this blog

The Pinching Beetle, a rather brutish looking bug

The world is awash in beetles, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Few of them can match the intimidation factor of a Pinching Beetle, Lucanus capreolus, though. Those formidable looking mandibles look like they could slice off a finger.

Today was one of those coolly diverse days. I started off down in Fayette County, visiting the farm of a friend. He has restored about 25 acres of wetlands, and the response by the animal community has been nothing short of phenomenal. Blizzards of dragonflies of many species, amphibians galore, and nesting Blue-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebe, and Sora. Among MANY other things. And all in a short two years. Add water and they will come.

Then, working my way home, I ducked into a Madison County cemetery that has a thriving population of Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels, and shot images of our native prairie dog. Then, I stopped at a spot along Little Darby Creek, waded on in, and procured some pretty nice shots of various stream bluets and dancers. …

Calliope Hummingbird in central Ohio!

A hatch-year male Calliope Hummingbird strikes a pose. Small but tough, the hummingbird was feeding actively yesterday in 39 F temperatures. It frequents feeders and gardens at a home in Delaware County, Ohio, about a half-hour north of Columbus.

Fortunately, the wayward hummer appeared at the home of Tania and Corey Perry. Tania is a birder, and knew right away that the hummingbird was something special. For a while, the identification was up in the air, which isn't surprising. The Calliope Hummingbird used to be placed in its own genus, Stellula, but has recently been submerged into the genus Selasphorus, which includes Allen's, Broad-tailed, and Rufous hummingbirds. The latter two, especially, are quite similar to the Calliope in subadult plumage. Rufous is the default "vagrant" hummingbird here, with dozens of records and birds turning up annually. There is but one Ohio record of Allen's Hummingbird, from late fall/early winter 2009. Ditto the Calliope Hummi…

Ballooning spiders

Fear not, ye arachnophobes. The subject of this entry is indeed about spiders, but the star of the show is about as cute as a spider can get. And you'll want to know what we're about to learn...

On my recent West Virginia foray, we were strolling down a seldom-used lane, when a bright yellow object caught our eye. It was a goldenrod crab spider, Misumena vatia, on top of a post! Not only that, she - it is a girl - was acting extraordinarily goofy. The spider would stilt up as high as she could go on her legs, weave back and forth, jig side to side, and otherwise engage in what appeared to be spider break-dancing.

Click the pic for expansion, and you can see two columns of silk issuing from her spinnerets. This is an important point, as we set about determining what this non-web-making spider is doing.


So fixated was our spider on her task that she even rejected what would seem to me to be a perfectly scrumptious meal. This little caterpillar climbed rapidly up the post and dire…