Photo Contest Winner: Tracy Sarel’s “Racoon Siblings”

Eden Prairie’s Tracy Sarel seeks ‘pockets of nature’ in the city.

Photography is not always about having a perfect plan. No, sometimes it is
all up to moments of chance. Tracy Sarel of Eden Prairie was presented with such
a moment, and she seized it in order to capture her photo, “Raccoon Siblings.”

Last summer, Sarel was driving on Dell Road in Eden Prairie when she saw a
family of wood ducks. “I had never seen wood ducks in the wild before, so I
stopped by a couple of times a week to photograph them,” says Sarel, a
photography hobbyist who likes to discover “pockets of nature” to photograph.

One evening as Sarel was just about to park to photograph her wood duck
family, she saw something out of the corner of her eye. When she took a second
look, she realized it was two baby raccoons.

Caught up in the moment, Sarel quickly parked the car and began snapping
pictures from behind. They saw her and huddled on top of one another. That was
her moment. She held her breath and started taking pictures.

It wasn’t until after she captured the photos that she realized the danger
she had just put herself in. She was so caught up in the moment that she didn’t
even think about oncoming traffic or the baby raccoons’ mother coming out and
attacking. “What I love about the photo is the whole unexpectedness of it,”
Sarel says. “I did not set out to photograph raccoons, especially raccoons who
seemed to be posing for me.”

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Tracy Sarel’s “Raccoon Siblings” won second place in the Wildlife Category of
our annual photo contest. Submit your photos for this year’s contest at
southwestmetro mag.com starting in August.