Sunday, October 4, 2015

October 4, 2015

I was excited when a fellow nature watcher acquired a trail camera and placed it at the shoreline of Lake Wicwas near the conservation area on the west side of the lake.  It didn't take long before he caught several wild creatures visiting his shore.  The first customer was a well fed raccoon, sniffing along the ground looking for a bit more food to add to its winter store of fat.
Raccoon (All photos by David Larsen)

The raccoon was followed soon by a skunk (photographed at an angle that doesn't reveal the usual trademark white stripe).
Prowling skunk

And then good size beaver arrived, having just climbed up out the lake, as indicated by the ripples in the water.
Beaver coming ashore

This is harvest time for beavers, when they collect trees to stick in the mud at the bottom of the lake for their winter food supply.  You better guard your trees, or you may soon have your own fresh stump to be a nursery for a new generation of life!   (Reference last week's post.)

Talking about watching out for animals, it's always a good idea to keep a close eye on small pets, especially cats, as we have a good supply of Fishercats in the area that will take even a good size cat for their supper.  But we also have other predators to look out for, and his trail camera caught one of the most elusive - the bobcat!

The elusive bobcat

It's a little blurry as the cat must have been moving along quickly, but the short tail, rounded ears, and the markings down low on it hind legs are clear identifiers.

This spot is a great location for wildlife, being right at the edge of many acres of undeveloped property, but any of these animals - except perhaps the bobcat - can make an appearance most anywhere around the lake.  And of course, it's prime bear season, as they are fattening up for their winter slumber, so hold off on those bird feeders a few more months.

Thanks for sharing Dave!

This week I spent some time on some very new mountains in Colorado - they were formed only about 50 to 80 million years ago.  Contrast that to the mountains in New England, which are between 200 million and 400 million years old (see March 7, 2015 post).  This explains why the rocky mountains are much higher and more dramatic than the white mountains - they have had far less time to be worn away by wind, water and ice.
Looking north from Mt. Democrat (14,148') in central Colorado

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