Sunday, February 5, 2012

February 5, 2012

Lake Wicwas was treated to some beautiful winter weather this week - seasonably cold, not bitter, with bright sunshine and blue skies.  We took advantage of the nice weather to explore some different areas around the lake.  We discovered another beaver lodge - rather small - which brings my count of lodges on the lake to ten, and I doubt I've found them all. Nearby was this rather interesting way to fell a tree - cut 90% of the way through, then start all over again a bit higher.

Maybe junior started it, and then grand dad came along and didn't want to bend over.

We also discovered some new pileated woodpecker activity:  a hemlock with half a dozen new holes where the bird had drilled up to four inches to find insects hiding deep in the trunk.
Pileated Woodpeck Holes
There were a variety of sizes and shapes where it followed the sound of its prey.

The trees around here certainly do have to deal with a lot of attacks on them.  If not beavers, it's insects or birds, and sometimes both!

Although we're still a couple of days away from the full Snow Moon, Saturday night was crystal clear, and the lake was lit up enough to wander easily without any man-made light.

With abundant moonlight, not many stars are visible - I took one 30 second exposure straight up which shows the motion of the earth under the stars.
February 4, 2012, 10:04 pm

There was almost no activity around the remains of the deer the past few days, but the coyotes and crows were back earlier in the week to finish off the leftovers.  Now only the skull and backbone remain, and even the crows only pick for a minute before moving on. 

And no, I didn't pile up the bones like that.  Unless another human visitor moved them, it was the animals that left "X marks the spot".

In leaving their own mark, the coyotes show that they are maintaining a well balanced diet, adding seeds and fiber to their protein!
Coyote Scat

But we did finally get the visitor we were waiting for:  a bald eagle (immature).

Immature Bald Eagle
It saw an object on the ice (X-marks the spot?) and came down to investigate.  Finding little left, it took off after just must a minute without taking a peck.  With it's good eyes, though, it spotted us watching from the window!

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