Saturday, August 24, 2013,
Last week I indulged myself with a paddle down the Lower Carmans River. It’s not as close to home as my beloved Nissy, but for sheer abundance of beauty and wildlife, the Carmans just plain rocks. This has been one of my favorite stretches of Long Island waterway for years.
Along any river, there are always several nooks and crannies to be found. I’m always looking for these ‘holes’ as I like to call them. Sometimes they’re small streams or creeks that feed into the main river, but more often than not, they’re just little dead ends that lead nowhere. Either way, these hidden spots with slow moving water tend to attract a good of wildlife. I was checking into one of my favorite holes when low water brought me up short. This sort of thing happens. I found myself at the edge of a sort of cul-de-sac or small pond off the river proper. I couldn’t enter as an underwater root or branch was impeding my way, but this spot has been lucky for me in the past so I stayed put to see what I could see. Plus, this is a real peaceful spot and I have always enjoyed stopping here.
As I’m sitting there, thinking about breaking out a sandwich, I hear some movement in the thick undergrowth to my left. I grab my camera, hoping for a glimpse of what’s there, when a small Raccoon pops out of an opening in the grass right at the edge of the water. He has a ten-second look at me and disappears back up the bank. While I was still thinking “Wow! That was cool!”, and “Gosh! I hope I got a shot”, the little guy reappears and does the same exact thing. A look at me, and gone again. By this time I could hear him being scolded by his mother. Almost hidden in the foliage I saw glimpses of at least two of his siblings and later I saw Momma Raccoon herself as she skirted the small pond with the family in tow. They returned the way they came and then this guy came out to see me for a third time. He was the only one from amongst his litter mates to check me out. I can tell from that scar on his nose. He probably got that scar from not listening to Mom on some previous occasion. But he’s obviously okay and still just as curious as ever. This Raccoon is going places. JK