At White Memorial Conservation Center last weekend Deneen and Gabby had the privilege of putting out a snack for Veronica the Red Tailed Hawk. Years ago Veronica showed up around the museum begging food. She lives wild and has been seen hunting many times including by me (it was a super cool thing to see). She is however very comfortable with people and still comes around for food now and then.
Gabby also got to feed these baby squirrels that were being rehabbed by our friend Lois. They came to her as orphans from a cut down tree. Gabby had told me a few days before that she wanted to be an “animal saver” when she grows up. Lois was kind to help her get a head start on her dream.
We are very thankful
I left feeling very grateful to have these experiences at our favorite place to go together.
Last weekend was the New England Primitive Skills Gathering in Woodbury CT. Its nice and low key this year, the weather was cooler than previous years which was nice for all the people working on bows. Met some great new people with a real passion for the woods and their craft.
I didn’t take a single picture which means I must have had a great time. A few things I did this year where; help lead edible plant walk, started some pottery, was gifted a lot of material like cordage and basket making material and some bow staves (hop hornbeam).
It was good to see everyone again. See you all not soon enough.
Bobcat trail up under the powerlines near my house. If you look deep into the track you can see the asymmetry typical of the felines.
I followed him ( I think it was a hime because of the size of the tracks and stride of the trail), up the hillside and found this spot. He entered from the left, the fanlike impressions toward the top of picture are from its front feet and forlegs as it moved back and forth changing is view.
Bobcats and other felines hunt very much like humans do, using stealth and their sense of site and hearing to locate prey. This requires stopping often to look and listen, in this case the bobcat created what is called a hunting lay where he sat for a long period of time watching the hillside from above for any prey. Below is a picture from the Bobcats vantage.
At the top of the hill just above the Bobcat’s hunting lay, I found these tracks of some Coyotes gathering in there nightly rendezvous. I have heard the pack howling to each other many times in the night coming together to reinforce family bonds and share in the hunt. As you can see in the picture below they are not shy about partying near human habitation.
These prints where just steps from the gathering spot pictured lower down. I had seen tracks such as these before near pack gathering places and did not quite have the confidence to call them what I believe they are. I have seen them enough now that I am willing to say it is the spot where the initiating Coyote stood to begin the howling after which the others would have answered and then headed to the spot. The animal came in from the left leaving tracks of its front feet once then again to the right in pairs. The added depth of the pair of tracks furthest to the right suggest a lingering and shifting of weight. I take this as signs of its raising its head and straining with the emotion of its song. Upon hearing one of its comrades aproach from behind it turned around to meet it.
This is looking back toward the direction of the Bobcat lay. To the right is the gathering spot where the Coyotes greeted each other, testing pack hierarchies with posturing and muzzle licking and maybe some good natured romping.
Adjacent is a scent marking, something I see with each of these gatherings, part of the complex visual, olfactory and vocal comunication system these neighbors of mine use amungst themselves and for the benifit of strangers. Look close and don’t eat the yellow snow.
Fox trail in Maine. We saw many prints similar to this one as well as the scat below.
Fox repeatedly marked small trees and things along the trails, you can just see his trail lead up to and away from the tree. The scent marks smelled a little skunky which is consistant with a male fox this time of year (late December to early January). This is mating season and he is busy making himself known to rivals and prospective lovers.
Saw this in the field behind my house. I think by the foot prints it is a redtail whom must have seen the little mouse or vole poking its head up and swooped down for it from the right, grabbed it, hoped to the left as it lost speed and stopped their,standing on its prey for a few moments as I have seen them do and commeced to eat the creature. Then took off the way it had come.