Sunday, June 10, 2007

Spring 2007: wildlife sightings

We've had some interesting encounters with wildlife this spring:
  • Groundhogs - there seems to have been a population explosion. We've seen mature, fat groundhogs scurrying across the driveway, and smaller ones burrowing around in the orchard. They're cute, but I wonder why there are so many?
  • Osprey - We see lots of birds, and until recently the most unusual was a blue heron, who is now a regular visitor to our pond. But one spring day we saw a bird we didn't recognize. Consulting our field guide we determined it was an osprey. Now that was a surprise! It spent most of the day sitting in a tree looking for food in the pond.
  • Fox kits - foxes are commonplace (see: ducks), but coming across fox kits was a real surprise. One day in April, Chris was mowing the pasture, and came across a kit sitting out in the open. He and younger daughter J convinced it to go back into its den, and Chris stopped mowing for the day. The next day we went out to see if all was clear. Looking into the den, we saw two tiny pairs of eyes peeking out at us! Chris decided to mow away from their den. At one point he turned around and both kits were out, sitting next to their den and watching him mow! He later saw their mother at the edge of the pasture. We haven't seen them since and expect she may have moved them to safer quarters.

These three sightings were what ultimately inspired me to start this blog.

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