Monday, June 28, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Of Earthquakes and Cows
On this third day of summer fireflies flickered before dawn and again at dusk as distant bolts of lightning slashed a gray-black sky, black raspberries stained my tounge and lips, day lilies splashed rural roadsides in blazes of orange, bluebirds hunted bugs at the edge of the meadow, confident cocky goslings marched ahead of the gander, deep booming bullfrogs sounded early, thunderheads exploded with downbursts of wind, tree leaves flipped to their silver sides, red-winged blackbirds flashed their colors in the cattail marsh, bass ignored my jitterbug lure antics, deer flies chased joggers on woodland trails, turkey vultures scavenged a pancaked possum, hummingbirds hovered at the suction cup window feeder, painted turtles sunned on a nearly sunken pond log, robins splashed in the birdbath, cows at Ortonville's Cooks Farm Dairy waited with pleading looks for toddlers so they could steal licks from poorly guarded ice cream cones and tectonic plates in our restless Earth shifted near Ottawa, Ontario sending a 5.5 earthquake rumbling through Oakland County. And that is the way of nature, full of the predictable - and full of surprise over which we have no control.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
The Kindest Thing Is To Throw A Stone and Teach Them Fear?
Friday, June 18, 2010
The Duck and The Owl
I always smile when I watch people install plastic owls to keep away geese or ducks. Sometimes it works: for a day or two. But wildlife is not a gullible as we are. They quickly realize that its just a hunk of big-eyed plastic as this resting mallard on a dock in Oxford Township recognized.. Moments before I came in from the water for a picture about a dozen other ducks that were snoozing next to the owl departed. They knew the stranger in the boat (me) was more of a clear and present danger than the lifeless guard owl on a secluded dock on Whisper Lake. And its not a one-legged duck, just a resting position.
Monday, June 14, 2010
When Lawns Go Wild And We Go Free!
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Old Memories and Fishing Free: Saturday, June 12 & Sunday, June 13
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Back From the Wilds: Fawn-Predator Study
Back to blogging from my Brandon township home. For the past 4 days I had been away in the UP with the Michigan Outdoor Writers Association. As part of that event I spent a day in the field with wildlife graduate students from the University of Mississipi College of Forest Resources. They are working with our DNRE on a study of fawn survival in Michigan. The study includes fact gathering on predators, weather and habitat. But to conduct the study you need particpants: coyotes, bobcats, wolves and bears. They must be captured first. GPS and radio-telemetry collars are placed on captured predators after DNA samples are taken and measurments and general health is documented. Pregnant does are fitted with vaginal inserted transmitters (VIT's). These tiny devices are expelled with the birthing of the fawn and send a radio signal that lead researchers to the fawn which is then outfitted with a small temporary tracking collar. The photos are of an adult coyote captured in Delta County last Saturday morning and then released to pursue his ways with a radio collar.
Thursday, June 3, 2010