This is RJ:
Some of you parents of teenagers today might remember him from the 2006 animated film, Over the Hedge. RJ was the story’s protagonist, a racoon who survived by rummaging through the garbage cans and open garages of the suburban neighborhoods which adjoined the woods where he and his animal friends lived.
So I opened my front door a couple of days ago, at 2:45 in the afternoon no less, to find this fellow (or perhaps it was female?) staring down at me from about 8 feet away and 10 feet up. I immediately had one of our daughters grab a camera and record this oddity to show the man later when he got home:
I was fairly well surprised, not too mentioned worried if the thing would jump from the tree onto my head as I got into the driver’s side door of my truck, which was parked pretty close to the tree. So my daughter and I both walked around to the passenger side, and got in. She climbed across and drove us to our destination.
I often joke about living in a concrete jungle but it’s not entirely true. We do live in the midst of suburban sprawl, but on morning jogs there is the occasional deer family crossing the street from one side of the woods to the other. On evening walks, you might see coyotes in the distance between the woods and the pond. And my husband has taken some pretty cool photos of glorious hawks as they landed on our back yard fence.
This morning when I took a walk, cars zipped alongside me on the main road, and I still noticed the cardinals, butterflies, and rabbits on the other side of me. I am fortunate to live where where there is a decent amount of land labeled as habitat preservation areas.
For now at least.