So, there I was, minding my own business searching for birds in Ritch Grissom Wetlands in Viera FL when I spotted a bit of fur inside a hole in an old palm tree. As I slowed down, my intense gaze was met by an equally intense gaze from a raccoon that had decided to make his home there. (“Rocky” was the nickname one of the locals gave him)
(Note – I’ve made this image available as desktop wallpaper, but I had to crop it to horizontal – it’s still cute)
So, it didn’t take long for me to step out and get the tripod set up. I quickly focused in his direction and waited.
In time, I’d get a little glimpse of a head, ear, or even an eye – but he would never quite emerge far enough for the full-on shot I had in mind. We played this game for at least 45 minutes, and I was starting to get worried about the light – it was diminishing before my eyes and I was concerned the shot I had in mind might not materialize.
I was about to give up when I remembered a trick that hunters use to get a critters attention – so I started making an obnoxious squeaking sound by sucking air through my lips.
He popped right up in an attempt to figure out where that noise was coming from, no doubt with thoughts of snagging the leftovers of whatever creature was getting dispatched at the moment. He seemed a bit annoyed once he decided the sound wasn’t from some wounded animal, but rather from the annoying photographer who had been hanging out with him all evening.
In any case, I had my shot, thanked him, and drove back to my hotel with a big ‘ole smile.