Raccoon eyes

Raccoon, Blendon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.

The story: A raccoon encounter

Getting this image required a lot of luck but I like it because it captures the curiosity of this raccoon, peeking through the leaves to watch what I was doing.

I was walking through a very dark patch of woods in August 2006 while looking for birds to photograph in Blendon Woods Metro Park outside Columbus, Ohio, when I startled a raccoon that was beside the trail. The raccoon climbed a nearby tree, but seemed curious about my camera and me. It kept looking around the tree and between the leaves to see what I was doing. 

I was able to click off a few frames. (For you photo tech freaks: I’m surprised I was able to get a somewhat sharp image shooting wide open – f/5.6 – at ISO3200 and a very slow 1/50th of a second using the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L and Canon 2x teleconverter on a monopod. The camera body was the Canon EOS 20D.)

After a few minutes the raccoon climbed down the tree and walked to within about 10 feet of me, stood on its hind legs, stared at the camera, then moved into the woods.