Category Archives: Journal

Fishers acting crazy 8 – 14 – 2015

It was a rainy night and photos are blurry but both cameras had images of two fishers together.  We suspect it is a mother and kit for we read that mating occurs shortly after birth in the spring and kits stay with the mother until late summer.  Here we are at late summer.

It appeared that the fishers spent a lot of time climbing the tree that one camera is tied to.  There were many confused, photos and the camera was askew in the morning. Most of the photos showed them coming and going on the bog walk though one series showed a fisher look under the dock, crouch, and leap to cling onto the statue that is at the size of the bog walk. I wish our images were more clear and so the statue would be visible as well as the clinging,  but these pictures did excite the imagination.

fisher ready to jump  fisher leaps to statue  fisher on statue

2 fisher rec 8-14

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Baby Cowbird 8-12-2015

Everywhere we look baby birds are begging and parent birds are feeding them, but one begging bird caught our eye. This was a cowbird baby.  The mother cowbird must have laid her egg in the nest of a chipping sparrow. The egg hatched and soon the baby bird was significantly bigger than the mother bird – and hungry!  We heard the baby begging all during the day and found the mother diligently bringing grubs to “her” young one.  After a few days we could see the baby cowbird flying and eating on its own with the mother no longer bringing it food.webtwo flickers webcowbirdie feedsweb cowbirdie close web cowbird web chipping sparrow web big baby calls for mom

A new fawn 8-10-15

We rarely see deer on our property in the day, but they are there. Often we see deer in photos taken by the trail cameras.  And once in a while, as with the decimated bean plant, we see evidence of their visits.  We had been keeping track of a doe with a scar on her side. We knew from photos she was nursing a baby and today, at last, we caught a picture of the fawn!

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web deer eats beansUntitled-1

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Warming up

Over the last two weeks we have returned again and again to a spot in the bog where we’ve found multiple garter snakes basking in the sun.  We presume this is the location of a winter hibernaculum or den and we are lucky to witness the snakes waking up to spring sunshine.  They are difficult to count, both because of their camouflage and also their ability to weave in, under and back out of the leaf litter.  We have to count heads to be certain to get an accurate count.  Yesterday we saw nine!

a gravid garter?  two garters

It’s Spring!

Despite the snow that still covers the pond, the local residents know that it is spring.  This morning with temperatures over freezing, two bunnies cavorted under the bird feeder, two red squirrels chased each other across the yard and LOTS of chipmunks danced all around the place, up the trees and down, under the deck and over and in and out of multiple holes.

webtwo bunnies B  webtwo hudsons

 

44 degrees F.

The whole place is weeping – melting, actually – with the arrival of some warmer weather.  Forty degrees feels balmy.  A great blue heron arrived to check if there is any open water at the pond’s edge.  No clear edge yet, but this bird will be back!

one leg

 

A Brown Gray

Our population of eastern gray squirrels, Sciurus carolinensus, is lively today. They are chasing each other out from under the bird feeder, spiraling us through the oak trees.  In this area it is common to see the melanistic, black form of the gray squirrel as well as the white bellied gray form but today, for the first time we have watched a reddish brown fellow, mixing right along with the other shades of gray.

shades of gray

Winter sightings

This winter, with snowfall flirting with breaking a record, we spent weeks at the equator, enjoying the antics of animals we don’t see in New England.

All during our absence we imagined the trail cameras at the pond would capture weeks of animal behavior.  Upon our return we had to snowshoe through the woods to retrieve a frozen camera, buried under feet of ice and snow.

Even tracks in the snow have been few and hard to read.  We’ve seen a rabbit regularly, bright red fox now and then, and a few tracks of coyote, deer and vole.  Our imagination is busy trying to visualize all the animal life coping through these freezing, snow covered days.

 

web lions

 

Tracks in the snow 1-12-15

All through the woods the snow is covered with tracks. We see mostly cottontail, fox, fisher and squirrel.  The squirrel tracks are everywhere but most of the others seem to move on the paths and walkways.  The books tell us that January is a typical mating season for cottontails and we do see the rabbit that lives under the front porch out and about a lot.

fox web gray squirrel web turkey tail web turkey web fisher web Cottontail