Monday, August 8, 2011

Return to Marquette

It's been just over two weeks since our return to Marquette, and Steph and I are so happy to be back! We've made the house our own, and now that we're done unpacking, painting, and hanging art on the walls, we've had the opportunity to catch up with friends (of which there are many), scour the area for jobs (of which there are few), and return to our favorite haunts -- Presque Isle Park, the farmers market, and so on. Here at Riverhouse, the name we've given to our new abode, we've been keeping track of all the animals we've seen -- and the list is quite extensive! Not only have we seen and/or heard nearly thirty species of birds, we've seen plenty of mammals, including a gray fox and a raccoon, who helped himself to our birdfeeder.

This afternoon, as we were heading into town along US 41, I spotted a raccoon on the side of the road. There was no time to pull over and investigate more closely, but after some chores and an inspiring seminar about art and success, we returned to the scene. By then, the corpse had started to bloat and was covered in flies, but we took it home anyway. Closer inspection of the teeth revealed that the raccoon, though decently-sized, was relatively young. The fur was thin and scraggly, typical of a summer coat, though the tail was full and bushy.

August Raccoon I

The feet, of course, were fascinating.

August Raccoon II

The raccoon was struck on the head -- a quick death. Many teeth were broken as a result of the impact, and the snout was crushed.

August Raccoon III

I'm rather pleased with how well these photographs turned out -- I used my macro lens, and no tripod. The sun was low in the sky, making the light nice and cool without any harsh shadows. The raccoon, meanwhile, was emitting quite an odor, and flies were flocking to it in droves while I took pictures. After I finished, I dug a hole in our backyard and buried the corpse; the raccoon will feed the white pines and red pines and jack pines that tower over our house.

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