I was going through
Charles Harper's catalog of artwork
, just marveling at how prolific and inspiring his abstract illustrations of wildlife are (Harper recently passed away, but Todd Oldham's tome honouring the man, Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life
, is due to for release next month) when I realized the man really loved raccoons, a common neighbor to many of us Angelenos.
Being a Silver Lake resident, besides loving those striped stinkers known as skunks, I equally love seeing raccoons wobbling around our neighborhood. I know some people consider these animals pests, but Harper's illustrations perfectly capture the playful joie de vivre of these masked bandits. Besides raccoons and skunks, we'll occasionally catch glimpses of coyotes, jack rabbits, opossums, squirrels and even the occasional bat....all Los Angeles residents that are just as much a part of our landscape as any palm tree or celebrity sighting.