Friday, September 21, 2012

Homeless raccoon or end of summer nap tree?

photo by Jonathan Schechter
September 16, 2012 at Ortonville State Recreation Area

On the last week of summer I set out for a short (3 mile ) hike over the hills of my local Ortonville State Recreation Area, a 5,000 and some acre woodland managed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. I set off into the woods about 20 minutes before the sun sank.  As I trekked up the first hillside I noted a shape in a trailside tree that seemed out of place.  I walking in slowly and more closely with the wind muffling my foot steps and snapped a shot of snoozing raccoon about 12 feet off the ground in the crotch of a tree.  About 20 feet from this tree a large hollow oak  was on the ground, shattered by an earlier wind storm.

And here is my question with an answer only known by the raccoon.
Was the raccoon sleeping in the open because the shattered oak used to be his home, or was he sleeping on a branch because he enjoyed the breezes of late summer and liked to "camp out".

A few hours later back at home I grabbed a sleeping bag and headed to my breezy screened porch to sleep.
 At that moment perhaps I had my answer.



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