to Gallery of Private Collections
18" x 24"
of two members of a genus of long-tailed, agile carnivores, the
northern cacomistle (Bassariscus astutus) is distributed
in the western United States and Mexico. Like it's relative the
raccoon, its range has expanded during the twentieth century,
and now stretches as far east as Ohio and Alabama. Capable of
exploiting a multitude of habitats, it is still most typically
a creature of rocky terrain, scrambling about sheer cliffs with
amazing dexterity. This nocturnal animal is only rarely abroad
in daylight. It is usually only in the springtime that it habitually
basks in the early morning sunlight before bedding down for the
day. In Utah I associate the cacomistle with the sandstone desert
of the Colorado Plateau. Incidental creatures in this piece are
a side-blotched lizard (Uta stansburiana) and a hairy
scorpion (Hadrurus sp.).