Stash – (2 photos)

We have been helplessly watching a very industrious squirrel raiding our walnut tree but his greediness got the best of him.  I noticed some unusual green at the base of our very old, damaged apple tree.  On closer examination I found walnuts buried in the surrounding fir cone midden and more walnuts in the hollowed out tree.  I gather about 15 pounds worth of nuts, leaving some for the squirrel.

Polyphemus Caterpillar and Moth (4 photos)

This guy came crawling by the other day and was very impressive.  At first I thought it might be a Luna Moth caterpillar but unfortunately I don’t think we have them this far north.

I took photos of this large, slightly damaged Polyphemus Moth in 2011.  Incidentally, Polyphemus was the one-eyed son of Poseidon from the island of Cyclops in Greek mythology.

 

 

Family Planning

We are having quite a lot of rain right now and for some reason the deer like to come and sleep on our lawn during the inclement weather. I’m not sure why but it might be that the forest is noisy in the wind and rain and the deer feel safer in the open where they can see and hear any predators. This is also mating season and these two are taking a break. The buck follows the female everywhere and the only respite she gets is to lie down on the lawn. There are also three other does around and an immature buck but these two are our faithful visitors.

This buck has been around for years and is very friendly and it has been wonderful watching him grow from a fawn to the magnificent animal he is.

Bobcat (Lynx rufus)

We lost our two retired chickens, Kate and Anna, to a bobcat this week. We thought the fence securing them was safe but we hadn’t thought of a bobcat and he had no problem breeching the fence. He was back today looking for more snacks to no avail.

Despite the situation it was quite a thrill to see such a beautiful animal.

Apples and Bears

We were hoping to leave our apples on the trees for a couple more weeks but this young guy came by to check out the crop.


He is a young bear that we hadn’t seen since early Spring. This is his first Summer without his mother but he is looking very healthy.

Unfortunately he has very little fear of humans and I think that will be a problem in coming years. After unsuccessfully trying to climb one apple tree that I had temporarily ringed with sheet metal, he tried to push over the fence into the garden to get the apples from our dwarf trees. It was then that I had to intervene. I went out to scare him away but that didn’t phase him much, he made a half-hearted climb up a fir tree and then headed for another old apple tree and sat down for a scratch.

After checking out the apples above, up he went.

It looked like he had settled in so I had to get out the garden hose and give him a spray. He quite like it at first but then became annoyed and ran off into the woods. Needless to say, we picked our apples – 60 pounds that didn’t end up in a bear’s stomach.

 

 

 

Bamboozled?

We came across this little scenario yesterday at our fish pond. This small bird was feeding her ‘baby’. There is obviously a size discrepancy. I haven’t identified the young bird but I know cowbirds and starlings will sometimes lay their eggs in other birds nests and let the new parents raise their chicks. I thought the mother may have been a Swainson’s Thrush but the ‘eyebrow’ didn’t look right. I’m now leaning toward some variety of Vireo.