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Tag: Nature

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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Feeding Deer in Winter – Keep it Natural

Feeding Deer in Winter – Keep it Natural

Feeding Deer in Winter (My February column in Maine Woodlands) Feeding deer in winter is tricky. We mean well but we can kill deer with kindness if we aren’t careful. Farmer’s Almanac said we’d have a lot of snow this winter, and they were right. We had more snow on the ground in December here in Talmadge than we had all last winter. Steve built a new food plot for the wildlife and the deer came. There were three bucks…

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Musings on a Mid-Winter Morning

Musings on a Mid-Winter Morning

Musing mus*ing: a period of reflection or thought. I’ve been musing a lot lately, even more than normal for these quiet winter times. I seem to be at a loss for good words here right now. I write, think it’s pretty good, and then delete. My winter writing was planned with a four-month long workshop and gathering of creative minds but that’s been cancelled. It’s disappointing but something good is coming. Hang with me until the end. I’ve been musing…

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Icy, Snow, Sleet, Freezing Rain, Writing

Icy, Snow, Sleet, Freezing Rain, Writing

Icy Icy Icy! Snow, sleet, freezing rain, high winds, icy everything – but minor. We didn’t lose power, dead trees are still standing, and the snowy, sleety, icy, crunchy mess isn’t too bad to walk on as long as I have cleats on my boots. WiFi is the usual lost but these days it’s out or so slow it isn’t useful (remember 28.8 on dial up? lightening fast in comparison, no exaggeration) often regardless of the weather. A few days…

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Power’s Out. Freezing rain, ice, quiet.

Power’s Out. Freezing rain, ice, quiet.

Power’s Out I hoped the lights would stay on. If the trees didn’t drop icy branches on the power lines I’d be all set. There’s plenty to do today. We cleaned up pork trimmings last night so they’re ready to grind and season today. I gathered the grinder and its pieces, the meat and bowls, washed my hands annnnd…power’s out. Alright then, there’s bread to bake. I scraped all of the sourdough starter minus a few tablespoons and sprinkled on…

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Hibernation in the Woodlot

Hibernation in the Woodlot

Hibernation Hibernation is underway in our woodlots. We can let the dogs out in the evening without worrying about them bumping into raccoons, skunks, porcupines and bears. Or…can we? Sometime during the night a small animal chewed the bottom out of the mesh bag and dropped the suet to the porch floor. Late one December I stumbled upon a soaking wet carcass.  I assumed from its black fur that a neighbor’s cat had fallen prey to a coyote or fox…

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Wooly Bear Predicts Winter – Or Does He?

Wooly Bear Predicts Winter – Or Does He?

Woolly Bear Predicts Winter? This woolly bear predicted a cold snowy winter for 2015/16. So did Farmers Almanac. We had cold weather because this is Maine and you know…winter. We had little snow though, never enough at once to snowshoe in the woods and deep enough for the snowmobiles only one weekend. About half the normal 100 inches of snow fell. There were a few days below 0° but there were more days in the 40°s and 50°s than 0°….

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Autumn Walk in the Woods

Autumn Walk in the Woods

Autumn Walk in the Woods Two or three mornings a week I take a walk to the food plot and into the woods to check the game cameras. We seldom set eyes on the animals we share our land with but get to see them in pictures the cameras provide us. We’re looking for bucks now because archery season is open and rifle season opens in a few weeks, but there aren’t any. This week the “yahoos” sauntered through –…

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Deer Blowing, Skunk Waddling, No Bear

Deer Blowing, Skunk Waddling, No Bear

Deer Blowing It was a good day to be seated in a mini chair behind the pile of trees I use as a ground blind. After sitting in the rain at two sites on Wednesday my boots were soaking wet, and I’d forgotten to dry them in the sun and breeze. A middle-aged brain cramp left me sitting in the shade, in a breeze, with cold, wet feet. Cold feet make the rest of me cold. You’d think I’d learn….

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