Back Yard Friends - ready for winter?


New member
It must have been trick or treat night for these young fellows. (Actually two young ladies and their big brother). Milady just sat down and handed out lots of treats.

Though only a few months old they are already pretty much full grown and ready for winter.

These are NOT pets - but wild raccoons we have watched since they were born last march or april.

The one closest to the camera is Alex, friendly, smart and very outgoing. The larger one beside her is Growler - or big brother. The one on the left is Jasper (Who is, I think probably a shy female).

Don't try this unless you have become very familiar with the individuals - and even then be careful. Once their hormones kick in - any time now - they will revert to being very wild.



Very cute.. I remember when I lived in FLorida I had 2 that came everyday for a treat of some sort... fun to watch them.. drove the dogs had to keep them in when the guys cane for there visit.. now in foothills of up state South Carolina I have squirrels, lots of birds...but still fun to watch out the window on a cold day.


Unfortunately, I get a server error.

I feel badly for all the critters when winter's cold comes.

When I was young, there was a squirrel that I used to feed by hand. She would come and take a peanut out of my hand, and then sit there eating it right in front of me. She was missing an eye.

She would even let me pat her.

I had to be careful to feed her when our cat was not around...


Staff member
My parents had raccoons that would come around their place in the wooded areas of coastal Washington state. They were cautious creatures, but if everything was still, they would come around and cavort in the tree branches. They were never petable by any means, but added a nice woodsy feel to their place.

That picture is adorable ... almost as if they posed for the shot.


New member
The local raccoons all seem to be in great condition for winter. Fat tails - heavy fur.

The three in the photo are all on the small side for northern coonies. One of the other mothers had a family of five this year - and they are all much bigger. Two of the locals must be close to 35 or 40 lbs each!

Making friends with a racoon - dog (not cat) food. The hard kibble, preferably a chicken-rice mix. When they start moving about in the spring - when the temps are perhaps just below freezing - they appreciate a good meal. Once a mother raccoon gets to know you she will actually bring her kits around when they are ready to eat solid food. Most of the youngsters are naturally inquisitive and will become quite friendly. However, that said - they do remain wild. A normal raccoon can never become a pet.

There are some excellent web sites that specialize in rescue and rehabilitation of raccoons - check them out through Yahoo if you want to follow up on these facinating critters.



New member
I think that is a great pic. I had already noticed your images before and was quite impressed. I also used to hand feed the squirrels in year just one "Skippy" and a couple of years later he introduced us to "Mrs. Skippy" and later on that summer there were two "Skipettes" all of which learned to take peanuts from our hand. If we were remiss in leaving some nuts on a shelf I built just for them at the top of the fence, they would come and knock on our window. It drove the dogs crazy and they would fly out of the pet door and chase them (luckily they never caught them).

I remember one year when I was little that my mom brought home a raccoon from Church one Sunday. We kept it in a cage and fed it until it was big and healthy and then released it back into the wild. I can't remember why she brought it home, but it must have had some kind of problem. Someone in the family was ALWAYS bringing home some critter or another. Must all have the "Ellie Mae Clampett gene!"

Now as of last week, I cam home and a little squirrel was at our kitchen door glass looking in. A trip to the market for a huge bag of peanuts and now it comes every day for a treat. They are much prettier up here than in Florida. These guys have HUGE bushy tails.