6 p.m., broad daylight and threatening to storm. I put on a dress, then hop downstairs to await a friend by hanging out laundry (might as well give the clothes a second rinse).

Open the back door and there’s a raccoon sitting casually on the back steps. It lumbers off when the door opens (nearly whacking it on the nose), lumbers into the bower, where it hangs out awhile, then lumbers past the huerchera and down the walkway by the pond and into the shed. And not alarmed by me in the least.

I, however, am plenty surprised, frozen in the door with my basket, and can’t get to my camera.


I bet it was a young one, a teen, too impetuous to wait for dark. I think my daughter somehow magically conjured it, because we have just been reminiscing about her days volunteering at the wildlife rescue and talking about raccoons and she was waxing affectionate about them and how gracious they are compared to “piggy” little squirrels.

Fox Squirrel

She loves squirrels nevertheless. At the wildlife center she cared for the squirrel kittens (as well as the many raccoons), rubbing their little bellies after feeding them, just as their mothers do to help them digest.

squirrel mama and baby