Taking a nap…

Taking a nap in the oak tree

Actually, I did – take a nap.  In honor of the Sabbath, I rebelled against all expectations (self-inflicted and otherwise!) and curled up with my Netflix Season 3 disk 1 of Burn Notice. Yeah – I know – I’m really behind!  I made it through one episode before I fell asleep.  But, enough about me! 

Take a look at the photos we took of a little raccoon friend who decided to climb the oak tree right outside the Schoolroom/Office windows and take a nap for the day!  Now while I get annoyed when raccoons get in the trash, or attempt to make a home in the dormer eaves of our house, I couldn’t get annoyed with this fella.  Sorry but the furry ears are just too cute!  He stayed for the day, and climbed down that night…

Grace and I found that the Raccoon is in the Order: Carnivora, Family: Procyonidae, Genus: Procyon.  The Common Raccoon is Procyon lotor. Procyon means “before dog,”  and Lotor means “washer.”  (We are now following the Apologia Zoology suggestion of finding out the Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species of any creature we observe!)  Raccoons are found in any region where there is water.  We have found tracks indicating that our little friend has been visiting our floating dock where we suspect he is washing his supper! 

The American Indians called the raccoon aroughcun “he who scratches with his hands.”  The German name for raccoon is waschbaren “wash bear” the French call the raccoon raton laveur “little washing rat!”

Distantly related to the bear, raccoons walk on all fours with a “heel to toe” movement.  Their front paws, and hind feet all have five toes, and the agility and strength to grasp and open trash cans, screens, door knobs, compost bins, and coffee cans left on the back porch with pecans from the neighbor’s tree inside!

For more information on Raccoons in Virginia visit the Virginia Living Museum pages!

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