Catching up!

I’ve been lax with my updates on this ‘blog’.  I’ll blame Facebook.  I’ve been on it  since it was made public, however I RARELY used it until a couple of years ago when I found myself inundated with mail that needed to be answered and at the time only having one usable hand at the time to type with.  So, was my real emergence into the world  of Facebookia.   Since then, I’ve pretty much ignored this corner of my cyber world.   I think it’s time to rectify that, however I will warn you, this is now the end of March.  After a very long winter, or so it seems, once the waters around here are fishable, I’ll again be out there and not in here. (and back in FB because it’s so quick).   

What can I say?  It’s been a loooooooooooong winter.  I worked on the kitchen.  New counter, sink and lighting so far….

KitchenMarch2013

…pot lights over the sink, paper, paint and floors next.

I tied a few flies.  Nothing earth shattering.  I focused on getting a full batch of mouse flies ready for this year.   I’ve tried a lot of mouse patterns, but non have the ability to outdo this puppy. 

Mousefly2800

Not the prettiest fly out there  but it does exactly what I want it to do.  It’s about catching fish…not fishermen.  Similar to the Rainy’s Cheeky Mouse (or the original ? Shpinev Minkey Mouse), but I was always fond of the Morrish Mouse style tail. Don’t ask me why.   The foam here was just what was laying around my house at the time. Foam color in this case really doesn’t matter, but you can use black, white, brown or gray without putting the fish off.  Add a little glow in the dark paint on the top of the foam back if you like keeping an eye on the fly on those moonless nights.   

Other than tying up flies for the next season, I’ve been hiking the woods and riverside when I can.  Winter is pretty quiet but the first vestiges of spring are showing themselves.

The first hatch of the season.

These you may hear before you see them or you may just not see them at all.    Tundra Swans moving north.

Owls start nesting mid winter and I haven’t located a nest close enough to keep tabs of, but eagle season is now upon us. This is the bald eagle aerie near my home.

(Nest is located in the center white pine below the tuft at the top.)

This year seems quite promising.  They’ve been on the nest for a few weeks now.  There is now a lot more activity.  My guess is that the eggs should be hatching any day.  I watched the changing of the guard and no food came with the change over so I’m guessing the eaglets haven’t hatched yet.

Giving me the once over.   

On guard!

Juvenile eagle swooping down into dangerous territory.

Getting ready for changing of the guard.  Eagles mate for life. They share nest duties equally.  It’s also difficult to know which is the male and which is the female, especially at the distance I am from them.

Changing of the guard.

This ones turn to fly, feed and preen.

Enjoy the video.

I’ll try to keep you filled in as the family progresses.

More images from my favourite piece of local bush along the Thames River, London, ON. (click them for larger views)

Eastern Coyote tracks (coyote wolf hybrid)

So until next time…

Butterflies and Moths of North America…an Internet Field Guide.

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/sites/all/themes/fusion_bamona/images/bamona_new_wide_collA92E02.jpg

I love hiking around urban forests and wild country, looking at all forms of flora and fauna. I’m always looking for field guides to help me with identification and info on the things I find. This is where the internet is beginning to really shine.
If you’re into Butterflies and Moths…here’s one you might find very helpful. You can generate a checklist for your own area.
http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/checklists

The Raccoon

I came home yesterday afternoon to a rather strange site.

A raccoon sleeping on my roof.  

Racoon1

R2

I didn’t get a good feeling from this and thought there was something wrong with the critter.   I called animal control / rescue…and was assured that it probably was not rabid.  It was thought that it was just over heated, found a cool spot and was napping.  I was told they do this sometimes and it would leave at nightfall.  I wasn’t so sure, but was willing to wait as they suggested.   As evening approached, the raccoon was becoming a bit more active but still, it didn’t seem right. 

….then I saw the reason…

R3

… that had to hurt.

I called animal control again.  Since it was injured, they would come out.   I showed the officer this photo and he agreed that the poor thing was in a bad way.  Sadly, the rescue attempt failed when the racoon bolted for a higher perch on the roof. (AR isn’t allowed to go up after them).  It moved off the roof late in the evening.  I have not seen it since.   I hope it didn’t move into the chimney. (we had one in there over the winter)  I’m sure I’ll know if it did, in a few days.   

No Eaglets this year….

In my previous post back in March, I posted a photo I took of a local Eagle nest.  I was exited because I caught a glimpse of an eagle sitting on eggs at the time.  

Sadly, I have to report, that after many weeks of watching this particular nest, I believe that the nesting was unsuccessful.  The eagles are still in the area, as I do see them fly over from time to time, but I have not seen any activity of late on the nest itself.   The eaglets should be quite large visible at this point.    I don’t know what happened to them, however I have seen a Red Tail Hawk hanging around close to the nesting site for many weeks now.   I suspect it may have had something to do with it, or maybe a racoon or a Great Horned Owl was the culprit.  

May-11-Cains-Woods-071B800

UPDATE! Boy I couldn’t have been more wrong. They must have been good at hiding because this is what happened after I gave up nest watching.

Look Who’s Home!

 

I’ve been watching this nest for a while.  I hike out a couple of times a week hoping to catch a glimpse.    I finally saw the female peaking at me.  It won’t be long now!  I snapped this one from the ground across the river… 60 yards or more away.

From another nest with a web cam, I’m watching this pair.  They are near the same latitude so hopefully it will give me a clue when to look for eaglets to appear in the nest above.

eagle14032012 

eagle14032012b

First Egg Laid: 02/17/2012
Estimated Hatch: 03/25/12   (there are three eggs in this nest)

You can watch these eagles here: http://blog.nwf.org/2011/04/eagle-cam-iowa-bald-eagle-eggs-hatching-live/

Mark of the Grizzly

‘Mark of the Grizzly’ update includes new science, maulings …and the night at Soda Butte story among others.

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Mark of the Grizzly, 2nd: Revised and Updated with More Stories of Recent Bear Attacks and the Hard Lessons Learned
Author : Scott McMillion
Published : 2011-11-08
Amazon Price : $11.52

 

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"Somebody gets nailed in grizzly country every year. Almost always, they survive these attacks by animals that can take down a bull elk or an Angus steer, though the injuries can be gruesome. This more than anything refutes the myth that grizzlies are man hunters that lust for human flesh. If they wanted to kill us, they would do it in short order. But their power, their capacity for ferocity, is also what makes them so compelling."

- Scott McMillion, "Mark of the Grizzly"   Read More

From the

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Mark of the Grizzly

Bear attacks horrify us, and yet they also, in a morbid way, fascinate many. They’re evidence that even in today’s modern world tragic confrontations with nature do occur and, in the case of bears, demonstrate that man is not always the apex predator.

This past summer, for the first time to the best of park officials’ knowledge, there were two fatal maulings of hikers in Yellowstone National Park by grizzly bears. They followed a year, 2010, in which there were two other fatal maulings just outside Yellowstone’s boundaries.  Read More

Aftermath

3 Months later, I’m still seeing articles and videos I haven’t seen before.  I found this one a couple of days ago.

TodaySurvive

“This interview with bear attack survivor Deb Freele is pretty amazing. Whatever feelings of voyeurism or rubber-necking you have at the beginning swiftly evaporate as she recounts the mauling and what she did to stay alive and talks about one of the other victims, and even expresses sympathy for the bear. If I were 1% as brave and level-headed as this woman I would think of myself as a successful human being. I wish her a speedy recovery.”

As for how things are coming along, I’m doing great.  They recently given me the boot from the Hand & Upper Limb Clinic at St. Josephs Hospital.  I just have to work on increasing my range of motion just a little more and strength exercises, which I can do on my own.   The splint I now wear stays in play for a few more months, because although the bone is healing, it’s not completely healed.  It’s just a minor inconvenience.  My only fear these days?  Falling.  Oddly enough, I don’t have nightmares, just trouble falling asleep. If I recall…that wasn’t totally new either.

The really good news is that I am now out pursuing my favorite activities.   It’s now fall, and with that comes falling leaves, colder water, gray sky, rain and steelhead.  I got out last week with a friend from the local fly fishing club.  My first steelhead of the season!

Just one reason to be out in the bush this time of year.  It’s beautiful.

The leaves are all gone now and snow is just around the corner.  That also means it’s deer hunting season.  I heard several close shots while fishing last Friday.  I realized that I should have had on my blaze orange.

Until next time,  let it rain!!!