Raccoon on the mudflats

/, Raccoons, Utah/Raccoon on the mudflats

When I lived in Florida I saw Raccoons (Procyon lotor) all over the state. In the wild, the not so wild and in the streets of the cities. But that isn’t how it is in Utah. I’ve been here nearly 3 years and I can count the times I have seen Raccoons on four fingertips.

Raccoon on the mudflatsRaccoon on the mudflats – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 357mm, natural light, not baited

Last month on the way to Antelope Island I spotted a large brown furball scurrying across the nearly frozen mudflats on the eastern shore of the Great Salt Lake and to my surprise it was a Raccoon. It stopped long enough to hunch its back and give me a direct stare before it headed north towards a strand of Phragmites in a marshy area.  Not a great picture but it is one that makes me smile. I love the muddy tracks at the bottom of the frame.



  1. Julie Brown March 16, 2012 at 2:47 am

    It is unusual to see this posture for those of us living in the burbs. Normally they are either hiding under a bush in the dark, or lying by the side of the road. The tracks make a nice leading line into the frame.

    • Mia McPherson March 16, 2012 at 7:02 am

      Thank you Julie. This posture is one that raccons do when they are surprised or startled. I guess us stopping on the road was enough to cause the Raccon some concern.

  2. ingrid March 14, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    I’ve never seen a raccoon in a setting like this! The footprints and reflection are fantastic.

    • Mia McPherson March 16, 2012 at 7:09 am

      Thanks Ingrid, the Raccoon looked very pretty in the light that morning.

  3. Laurence Butler March 14, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    That’s a great shot Mia! As you say, the muddy tracks really make the image. As soon as I read your title I thought, “Huh, it’s curious she hasn’t posted raccoon shots before.” They’re such unique and charming creatures.

    Now then, if you wouldn’t mind getting some Puma shots…

    • Mia McPherson March 16, 2012 at 7:11 am

      Laurence, I’ve seen wild Mountain Lions but Ron hasn’t so I keep crossing my fingers that one day soon we will spot one. I didn’t have a neat camera when I saw mine though so no photos.

  4. Bob Zeller March 14, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    I have seen very few raccoons, and I am yet to get a photograph that is any good. Some day……..:-)

    • Mia McPherson March 16, 2012 at 7:11 am

      Bob, I hope that “some day” is soon!

  5. Tammy Karr March 14, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Nice photo! I like the look it was giving you! The Raccoon population in this area definitely quite dense!

    • Mia McPherson March 16, 2012 at 7:12 am

      Tammy, in Florida it seemed Raccoons where everywhere so I didn’t spend much time photographing them. I wish I had now that I live where I rarely see them.

  6. Prairie Birder March 14, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Very cute! I’ve seen Raccoons in Toronto when I visit my aunt but in Alberta there aren’t very many Raccoons, so whenever I see one it is a very rare treat!

    • Mia McPherson March 16, 2012 at 7:14 am

      Thanks PrairieBirder. They are a real treat for me here too.

  7. Jim Coda March 14, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Nice blog and photos Mia. Antelope Island looks like a great place to photograph wildlife.

    • Mia McPherson March 14, 2012 at 9:49 am

      Than you for visiting my blog and commenting Jim. Antelope Island is a terrific place for bird & wildlife photography.

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