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Category: Wildlife

Loon Family of Upper Sysladobsis Lake

Loon Family of Upper Sysladobsis Lake

Loon Family of Upper Sysladobsis Lake I spent last week upta camp on Upper Sysladobsis Lake. Steve and Taylor took care of the house and poultry so I could stay there to write. I get a lot of work done on the book when I’m there. I also got to watch this loon family as well as six or seven other loons for the week. This loon family consists of the two parents and two chicks. It’s hard to tell…

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Living With Wildlife When You Live A Life In The Wild

Living With Wildlife When You Live A Life In The Wild

Living With Wildlife For Steve and me, living a life in the wild means living with wildlife. The animals we share our homestead with are special to us. We get to know some of them through personal encounters, photos on game cameras, and signs of what was in a place when we weren’t. Those signs are tracks, scat, strands and tufts of hair, what’s left of a carcass, a small blood spot in the snow. We spend a time fishing…

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Baby Weasels – Slinky’s Back

Baby Weasels – Slinky’s Back

Baby Weasels About a month ago a short-tailed weasel bounded past my feet and into the barn. “Slinky?” I thought so. It doesn’t seem like a weasel that didn’t know me would come so close. I sat a long time on the back porch observing Slinky last winter. She trusted me enough to come within inches of my leg. She tipped her head when I spoke, and she studied me as much as I studied her. Sometimes I’d look down…

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Porcupine – Living With Wildlife (and its quills)

Porcupine – Living With Wildlife (and its quills)

Porcupine Steve stopped in his tracks. “Get your camera ready, Rob.” And so I did because he knows a photo op. A big, round, slow and pokey, not-in-a-hurry-to-get-anywhere quill pig waddled down the side of the road. It took me 15 or 20 seconds of running to catch up close enough to take a few pictures but by the time I brought the camera up, the porcupine left the road and headed into the woods. I wanted great photos but…

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Hummingbirds & Apple Blossoms

Hummingbirds & Apple Blossoms

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds & Apple Blossoms I’m working on an entry about covering the high tunnel. Yes! It’s covered! The photos have been taken and resized. I’ve even uploaded them. Until that’s ready, enjoy a couple of ruby-throated hummingbirds (Archilochus colubrisat) apple blossoms. These little tornadoes are taking on every bird that comes to the feeding station. There are three females this year, up from the usual two. I’m not sure how many males are here because they’re too busy trying…

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Leucistic White-Throated Sparrow

Leucistic White-Throated Sparrow

Leucistic White-Throated Sparrow A puffy white face caught my attention early Monday morning. I couldn’t get a good look at the bird through the branches of the hydrangea tree in the few seconds before it disappeared. It took until from Monday to Thursday to get a good look and determine that the bird is a leucistic white-throated sparrow. This morning, now that he’s comfortable being here, I was able to stand on the sun porch and take a few photos…

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Have You Ever Seen A Duck in a Tree?

Have You Ever Seen A Duck in a Tree?

heard the familiar noise as soon as I stepped out of the truck. “Jeeeeb. Jeeeb. Jeeep.” I wasn’t thinking about anything other than getting the mail and letting the dogs out when I heard the sound. It kind of caught me by surprise. “Jeeeb jeeeeb.” I know I know that sound….  I looked for the noise and aha, there it was, in the old ash tree across the road. Have you ever seen a duck in a tree? Wood ducks…

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Merlin (Merlin columbarius) on the Homestead

Merlin (Merlin columbarius) on the Homestead

Merlin (Merlin columbarius) “Klee-klee.” I heard the high-pitched call but was too far out the door to stop mid-step.line, The predator, afraid of me, flew away. The garden was littered with the jay’s feathers. It flew, barely, and I lost track of it while I looked for the other bird. I expected to find a Cooper’s or Sharp-shinned hawk; a merlin hadn’t crossed my mind. At the top of a tamarack sat an unusually fat blue jay. I scanned the…

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Relocating Bird Feeders – Bird Protection Program

Relocating Bird Feeders – Bird Protection Program

Relocating Bird Feeders I’m relocating bird feeders today because of a merlin. This merlin. It’s taking advantage of the bird feeders a couple of times a week. Yesterday’s hunt was a disaster. This is the best way to put an end to the merlin’s opportunistic hunting and help the small birds. Predators have to eat but enough is enough. The merlin bombed through the 15 foot space between the house and my truck, where the bird feeders are located, and…

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Lynx Tracks – Exciting First for Us

Lynx Tracks – Exciting First for Us

Lynx Tracks in the Snow We’re making the most of our backwoods road riding this month while we wait for winter to give up and let spring move in. The roads are still frozen and the frost hasn’t started working its way out of the ground yet. From last weekend to this, the ice has gained rather than lost area at the outlets and along moving water. It’s moving backward. Finding lynx tracks in the snow last weekend was a…

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