Last Spring was the first year that a tawny female raccoon decided to make her nest in one of our large 100 year-old maples. Within a few weeks she had a litter of four pups. After being attacked by another raccoon one night while guiding her brood through the local garbage cans, she relocated her nest to another yard and we didn’t see her again (one of the babies was killed to blood-curdling screams that shocked us out of bed).

This year she’s back, comfortably nestled in the massive cavity in the same tree. Her teats are swollen so you can tell she’s nursing. We haven’t seen the babies yet, but we’re anxiously awaiting the first little heads peeking over the rim of the cavity in a few weeks.

We’ve named her Matilda.