Looking across the lake this morning, I first thought the movement in the water was the beaver. But more of this creature’s body appeared on the surface of the water; the beaver shows only its head as it swims. And then it began to climb one of the dead trees in the middle of the water. A striped tail appeared.
The raccoon seemed to hear the clicks of my shutter as I photographed it, and when it reached its destination — a hollow far up in the tree — it turned and offered me a belligerent stare before disappearing.
I can’t help but admire the raccoon’s brazen sense of entitlement. It’s justified, really, given the lengths to which they’ll go to scratch out a living. This tree is in the middle of a lake. Ingress and egress require lengthy swims across the water, which is plenty chilly in January (assuming this isn’t just a spring nesting site). That same attitude is also probably responsible for the species’ smashing success in urban and suburban environments.
I think I’ll hike to the other side of the lake next time to see if I can catch a better view (and better images). Perhaps she has kits in the tree.