So, I am visiting Quivira National Wildlife Refuge on a hot and humid June day. As I drive by an old hollowed-out cottonwood, I notice a short hairy branch on the side of tree. Hmm, I don't remember seeing that when I passed by this morning. I just had to stop and investigate. It was now early afternoon and the temperature was rising. I hated to leave air-conditioned comfort but, I exited the car with binoculars in hand. That hairy branch turned out to be a raccoon leg. I wasn't sure if the owner was dead or alive. I moved for a better angle around the side of the tree. Oh, did I mention it was hot? It was around 90 degrees with 90 percent humidity. IT WAS HOT!
In the hollow of the tree, I could see the leg belonged to a mother raccoon and I could see at least three youngsters crawling around on her.
You can just see the mother raccoon's ear at the bottom. Poor mom, three hot little bodies around her and not a breath of air. I'll bet she was dreaming of a dip in a cool stream about now.
I don't know if this was junior expressing his love for mom or his attempt at cooling her off.
Mom just looks exhausted, doesn't she?