Love those! You can hear them calling in the woods long before you actually see them!
As my wife, Brianna (1-yr old) and I were waiting for the school bus to pick up the girls, my son’s neighbor - who lives at the very end of the dead end street - stopped and gave us a little startling news. He told us that a friend of ours had been bow hunting for deer behind his (the neighbor) house, on the other side of the brook where it winds around the hill and runs directly behind his house. He said he had been stalked by a black bear for two days while bow hunting. Two days ago he was in a tree stand when the bear came sniffing down the same path he had just taken. It walked up to the tree where he was in and was deciding to climb up the tree. The friend shot the bear with an arrow. Once he was sure it wasn’t alive, he climbed down the tree, and dragged the bear out to his vehicle. When he got home he called ENCON (New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation) and a ranger came down. He determined the bear was 5 years old and when they weighed it, it was 270 pounds (122 kg). It was a male. This happened less than 300 yards / 274 metres from my son’s home.
My wife just came in and told me she just saw the fisher scurrying up the street past our house and heading up through the woodlot across from our house. Haven’t seen any feral cats around in a while. They must be keeping their distance from this predator.
The Canada geese are still down at the river. It’s a little early for the owl that’s been making its nightly stop in a tree behind the carriage house. My daughter’s dog spooked a deer that was just starting to come out of the woodlot across the street earlier. I wonder if she saw the deer through the window and that’s why she whined to go out.
Saw three moose this morning on my travels. They had just crossed the back road I was on, and heading back into the bush. I will have to scout this area later this week, a little before sunrise and see I can get closer.
10:15 PM After starting out this morning with freezing rain, all rain, then rain/sleet mix, it finally started to snow around 9:40 PM! Yea! I did have to put some calcium chloride on my porch steps and driveway apron to get the trash and recycling barrels out by the street. Then just as I went outside at 10:15 PM, I watched an opossum walk down my driveway from near the carriage house and stop beneath the big pine tree in my front yard. I think it’s having a field day with all the bird seed, black oil sunflower seed, cracked corn and peanuts I put out late this afternoon. Not too many birds and squirrels showed up for dinner, so there is a lot on the ground. It’s a good-size opossum.
Edit: 12:15 AM (17 Dec): While I was outside at midnight, a flock of Canada geese that had been bedded down at the river went crazy. They were all honking loudly and after almost 2 minutes took off and fly in a very wide circle - about a half mile/0.8 km radius. Then they returned to the river and continued to honk (less frantically) for over a minute before calming down and “settling back in.” Must have been coyotes or a fisher disturbed them.
I made it just in time! I had just finished setting out two piles of cracked corn beneath the big pine tree in my front yard, walked back up onto the porch and I heard a lot of leaves rustling. I slowly turned around and spotted four or five deer making their way up the embankment on the east side to the front of the carriage house. Now they can eat without emptying the hanging bird feeder. Yeah right!
On Dec. 20th when the temperature got above freezing (41.9F/5.5C) I noticed a few flying insects about. And sitting right in the middle of one of the screens in the breezeway was a housefly!
It was either the 20th or the 19th that my 5-year old granddaughter said she “found” a ladybug in the play room. Sure enough, she had it in her hand. Then she said she was going to “… put it with rest of them” and headed back into the playroom. When I followed her in she was putting the ladybug into a large tin and was just closing the lid. I asked to see it again. When she opened it there were leaves, grass and even a couple small twigs in it. She told me it “was the ladybugs’ house for the winter.” I asked her how many ladybugs she had in there and she replied “eleven.” I poked around and saw two. Then I noticed a ladybug on one of the window sills… and another crawling up the wall near the ceiling. I told her I thought maybe some of them escaped and she agreed. That night I found one in the parlor and one in the dining room. (shaking my head). After collecting those, I put them in a container the girls kept in the breezeway - the “original” winter home for the ladybugs they caught. Their father and mother would have a fit if they found out the girls were bringing bugs into the house. I’m sure the 1-1/2 year old would have loved to see how good they taste.
Amazing…we won’t see those until May!!!
As I went outside this morning to sit on the porch, I was greeted by 2 grey squirrels sitting on the railing, one sitting on the porch floor and one sitting on the steps - all staring at me. There were a few more sitting beneath the pine tree and they too were staring at me. So I said, “Okay, I’ll get you some peanuts” and went back inside. I didn’t know this but my wife put out the last of the peanuts earlier and they were quickly scarfed up by the bluejays. When I went back outside I informed the squirrels I was out of peanuts. Slowly they started turning around and left. I could have sworn a couple of them had a disgusted look on their faces. Guess they’ll have to settle for the black oil sunflower seeds and raiding the suet cage. Looks like when I’m up in the village again I’ll have to pick up a bag of peanuts.
Spent an hour photographing 15 Bald Eagles…what a thrill !
Great day to be down along the harbour…although other than rabbits and seagulls, not much wildlife!! HA HA
Hope you got some great shots of the eagles, Terri!
I have a similar problem where I am, re lack of wildlife… Lots of seagulls and pigeons, a few other small birds, the odd butterfly, and the stray kitty colony appears to be down to a population of 1. She was very pleased to see us though…
Oh. Oh no. What kind of community feeds ferals, then … Where are the cats? Please ask. And why they did that when they fed them for so long? Kinda doubt all the cats just keeled over… or packed up and took a holiday elsewhere…
And those cats trusted humans! Unless each cat was adopted, I’m an unhappy cat!
The people here are very kind to the kitties, they’re always well fed, and always have access to water. There is at least one local charity that takes care of them, plus the constant stream or kind tourists. I plan to ask around to see if anyone knows what has happened to the missing ones… One turned up this morning which only leaves 2 unaccounted for, and a new Tom is serenading the hotel cat.
I would take them home all if I could…
I’m off in search of more Bald Eagles, etc today…hopefully the weather holds out until late afternoon!..I would be happy with any type of bird/animal I don’t have where I live!!!
We actually have 2 bald eagles wintering close to the Ohio River southeast of us. About 40 mi away. Very cool. first I ever heard it around here. It has been such a mild winter so far,(probably shouldn’t have said that), that they have stuck around. I believe the coldest we’ve had is +12F. Usually at Christmas, it is always below zero and a good bit of snow.
Shush! you’ll jinx this region. As long as The Midwest gets enough, and PA to force water down the Ohio River, we’ll be good.
After feeding the birds this morning (including a fresh suet cake in the cage), it seemed like I had just unlocked and opened the door to a restaurant - with a long line of patrons waiting. By the time I sat back down on my porch scores of different bird species showed up. The most numerous of course are the chipping sparrows, house wrens and heaven forbid… starlings! Then about 15+ bluejays arrived, several tufted titmice, juncos, chickadees and cardinals. A flock of mourning doves flew in as well as a lone red-headed woodpecker. Since a couple of starlings were fighting over who was going to claim the suet cage for their own, the woodpecker decided to just eat peanuts off the ground. Then the gray squirrels came… all 12 of them! They feasted on peanuts and black oil sunflower seeds. A nice morning crowd.
I thought of you @Jim7 when I saw this recently…you could start photographing from the breezeway!
I’d have to open an office to issue driver’s licenses to the little guys around here. And judging by the number of them that showed up for brunch - over 20 - I’ll be busy giving “road tests”! Of course I’ll have to buy a fleet of those little vehicles… unless I can get some to car pool.