Sunday, May 26, 2013

May 26, 2013

A rather miserable Memorial Day Weekend at Lake Wicwas.  Cold, windy, rainy - there was even a little snow in the air last night, as the temperature hovered only a few degrees above freezing.  It was a little better today with some sun, but still cold and windy;  let's hope for better tomorrow.  With all the rain the past few days, the lake level rose a full twelve inches, from two inches below full, to ten inches above!  Let's hope things settle down so the loons can find a safe nesting site.

There are several more wild flowers blooming around the lake now, including Bluebead Lilly, Star Flower, and Lady Slippers. 
Bluebead Lilly
Eastern Starflower
Lady Slipper

I found some Striped Maple blooming also, up on the trail to Arbutus Hill Pond - a rather unusual flower on an interesting tree.

Striped Maple

The new animals for 2013 have started to arrive!  The first I've seen are the geese, which are as prolific as ever.  These two families were scouting around Oakland Cemetary on Saturday.

And young fox might be next.  I came across a pair of Red Fox in a meadow today.  When they saw me, one loped off slowly into the woods, but the other one sat motionless in the field.  Perhaps one was a decoy to lure me away from the den, while the other remained to protect the kits (which if there were any, I didn't see).  The sentry watched me for a long time, perfectly motionless.  After a while it started to rotate its ears like radar, with bits of black flashing from the back of its ears, but that was all that moved - maybe its tail twitched once or twice.  Keep an eye out for fox kits around the lake - they should have been born by now.  And maybe more fox will help keep the goose population in check - those little fluff-ball chicks would be easy prey for a fox!

We had another renowned fisherman come to pay tribute to Chuck Maul.  A cormorant perched on a fallen tree right in front of Chuck's house - a tree that Chuck had marked with a red buoy to warn others of the hazard.


We took another walk up to Meredith Center yesterday - the landscaping around the Grange looks good!  The door to the Grange was open, so we poked our noses in the door and met two of the people who have been putting in tremendous effort to restore the property.  They gave a us a great tour of the building and all the work they've done:  beautiful stone fireplace, freshly varnished original wood floor, office with the original ticket window, upgraded bathroom, and lots of historical items.  They even have the horse watering trough running with a fountain in it!
Fountain at Meredith Center

Who remembers weekly trips to Meredith Center to collect drinking water from the well years ago?

I put out my trail camera to see who is visiting these days, and found the usual characters:  Red and Gray Fox - plus Squirrels, Geese, etc, but no Deer.

Gray Fox
The new laptop has a card reader in, so I looked at the pictures there rather than in my camera, and decided to go back through old pictures to clean out any useless images.  In the process, I found that my camera wasn't reading all of the pictures that had been taken - no obvious reason, but there were several the camera won't read, but the laptop will.  And going through them all, I discovered that, way back in 2010, I had captured a photograph of a Bobcat!  A picture I had never seen!
Bobcat - November 1, 2010

I have seen several tracks that I was nearly certain a bobcat had left in the snow, but never had 100 percent confidence until now, as the Bobcat is one the most secretive animals in the forest.  This is the first definite evidence I have had of bobcat at Lake Wicwas in 40 years!  And to think I almost missed it.  It is another example of the incredibly diverse ecosystem that surrounds our lake.  Those of you who have helped to protect this sanctuary should be proud of what you have realized.  It takes a lot of protected land to sustain animals such as Moose, River Otter, and Bobcat.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, I read them every week. Love Lake Wicwas.