"A Sand County Almanac"

"THERE ARE SOME WHO CAN LIVE WITHOUT WILD THINGS AND SOME WHO CANNOT."
"FOR US IN THE MINORITY THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE GEESE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TELEVISION.".....Aldo Leopold




"LOOK DEEP INTO NATURE, AND THEN YOU WILL UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING BETTER".....Albert Einstein


Saturday, November 18, 2017

Familiar Colors And Unexpected Surprise

It seems that fall colors came late, and didn't last long, in our area this year.  The following images were captured while searching for wildlife...





In Maryland, a land owner can mark their property as "posted" by painting a blue blaze on a tree, rock, etc...




 I was driving on a mountain road with a friend a few days ago when this black bear crossed in front of us, the first I have seen after living in Maryland for forty four years...


I was able to zoom in for a closer view before the bear departed...


Thanks for visiting, be well, and come back soon.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

When Humans Try To Manipulate Nature

This post is a reflection on the arrogance of humans when attempting to "manage" the natural world.  Less than one year ago one could visit the Monocacy Battlefield and observe numerous mature whitetail bucks, does and fawns.  This deer herd expanded over a number of years under the "no hunting policy" of the National Park Service.  
In the wild, under similar circumstances, the herd size is controlled by the carrying capacity of the land.  When there are more deer than the land can support the excess deer will disperse; or disease will reduce the herd naturally.  This leaves a balance of mature deer of both sexes as well as all age groups.  When humans intervene, as was done at the Monocacy Battlefield, indiscriminate slaughter  reduces the herd unnaturally.  I recently spoke with an employee at the Battlefield who told me that Department of Agriculture sharpshooters killed 264 deer in just 4 evenings of herd reduction.  At this time the feeders are out to lure any remaining deer to their deaths in a few weeks.  
I visited the park several times since the last slaughter without spotting even 20 deer.  No doubt there are more which are not visible from the access roads.  The deer in the following photos were among the 264 killed "for their own good".

































This just a small sample of the deer that could be observed at the battlefield before the herd reduction began.  I would wager that the likes of these deer will not be seen there again because the reduction program is scheduled to continue for five years, or until the deer are eliminated, whichever comes first.

Thanks for visiting, be well, and come back soon. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Great Blue Heron

This great blue heron was so focused on finding a meal that it paid little attention to me...



Some of it's catch were so small that I could not  identify them...




The heron quickly moved from one side of the stream to another following it's prey...



After one successful attempt it came up with a fish...


When I left it was still there trying to catch another fish or crayfish...


Thanks for visiting, be well, and come back soon.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Fall Images

Here are three images that were taken on Mount Greylock as we were returning from our fall road trip...






The Massachusetts War Memorial on Mt Greylock...



Last week we attempted a trip to Shenandoah National Park but were literally turned back by the low hanging clouds...



We did get as far as Mathew's Arm Campground...










This lane leads to a log house not far from home...



Thanks for visiting, be well, and come back soon.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Fox Squirrel Getting Ready for Winter

This young fox squirrel was so busy stashing hickory nuts for winter that he failed to notice me...



He scampered down the log several times in search of fallen nuts...



When he found one he would hop onto the log...





Where he gnawed off the outer shell, seemingly with great pleasure...





The next step was to find a suitable place to store the nut...



All of this activity left him thirsty...



I enjoyed watching his antics for some time...



Thanks for visiting, be well, and come back soon.

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