Ever since I read some godawful story at the age of five about a pet Raccoon and how it washed its sugarcube before eating it and henceforth dissolved its dinner, I've been a bit smitten with this animal. And finally, 24 years later, I am pleased to report that a meeting with a raccoon might well be nigh.
Next week I'm heading off to Banff, Canada, to undertake an Ozco residency at the Banff Centre for two months, as part of the Imaginary Places program. From the looks of it, Banff itself looks pretty imaginary in some respects, and the Centre where I'll be based looks also slightly mythical - a bit too picturesque - like its about to flip upside down and reveal the headquarters of ultimate evil on planet earth, nya ha ha and all of that...
But back to the Raccoon. From my enitial research, it would seem that raccoons are inhabitants of where I am going, but they don't really rate a mention on the 'fauna' sections of the various 'come to Banff' websites - a bit like Magpies perhaps - slightly too ubiquitous... so I can only live in hope. I shall, it seems, have to get my fill while over there, as the poor little blighters are not allowed into Australia under any circumstances, and are, in fact, in the EXTREME DANGER category on the Aussie exotic species introduction website I found. This said, according to this website we are, in this country, also in EXTREME DANGER should the Flamingo be successfully introduced. and also the Zebra. Infact, about the only things that rate a low invasion danger is the Giant Panda and the Kiwi. As in the bird.
So yes. Off to Canada for me. Sadly it seems that I'll therefore miss the bulk of the Kirwin olive harvest, and escape olive-induced RSI for another year... oh well.