Saturday, November 17, 2001

Fisher Finding

Today I was walking the rear of the property and on the other side of the swampy river bed with my daughter's dog Max. There is a small earthen dam or dike to the north where one can walk across to the other side. At one point I could hear a bizarre grunting sound. At first I thought it was a duck quacking in the pond, then maybe it was a frog croaking and then I thought it sounded more like a squirrel chattering. In fact it was a combination of all three and it did not come from the marsh but from up high in a solitary tree. There I saw a fisher [Martes pennanti] who was probably scared up the tree by the dog and not able to escape.

It clung to the tree from behind and stuck its head out in a fork in the tree. It is really a cute teddy-bear like animal. There was a muskrat [Ondatra zibethica] swimming in a large open water course nearby and I suspect the fisher was stalking it when rudely interrupted.

Sunday, September 16, 2001

Old Foundations

Cut trails to a site in the bush about 200 metres from our new house where there is a hole in the ground that looks like it might have been a cellar of an old building. There are very old and woody lilac [Syringa oblata] bushes to the east of it, planted next to and up wind of the prevailing winds to their house possibly by pioneers for the spring fragrance. The hole has been used as a dump. Found a 1950 licence plant among the rubble.

Wednesday, August 29, 2001

Heard Howls

Heard howls again last night. The moon was out.

Tuesday, August 21, 2001

First migration of Geese

August 21, 2001

Saw the first Canada Geese [Branta canadensis] flying south this year, a sign of things to come. Awful early.

Tuesday, July 31, 2001

Moving In

Today we moved in to our new but very unfinished house. It meets the minimum requirements of the building code.

Saturday, April 21, 2001

Frog emergence Day !

The frogs have come out, in droves. The local roads are strewn with suicidal frogs, hopping everywhere, hundreds on the roads and all over the dooryard.

Friday, April 20, 2001

Ground Wasps

Came across what is called in local parlance, ground wasps in the earth in front of our house. They look like the yellow jacket wasp [Vespula spp.] which has a terrible sting and are quite aggressive.

Thursday, April 12, 2001

Mammalian Encounters

On this day I have encountered more than my usual number of mammals. We are currently building our house, on the property, which at the moment is only an unfinished shell with openings for windows and doors. On this day we - I and two tinsmiths who were putting in the duct work - were working at the house.

Upon arrival at the house today, saw a large porcupine [Erethizon dorsatum] high up in the elm tree at the rear of the building.

A raccoon [Procyon lotor] was lodged in the rafters and remained there all morning while we were working and glaring down at us supervising. It was gone when we returned from dinner. Both of these animals are favoured prey to the fisher [Martes pennanti], which is known to exist in these parts. I wonder if both were perched high up to get away from one.

During lunch break I took a little stroll in the bush along a swale (Shallow ditch) that crosses our property line and into our neighbour's on the north side. While standing there motionless next to the snake rail fence just enjoying the cool but sunny day, I could hear frantic rustling approaching from the north. Next thing a snowshoe hare [Lepus americanus] came bounding through the bush along the boundary line and right past me. In immediate pursuit, was a large coyote [canis latrans]. As soon as the coyote was next to me he or she could smell my tracks and immediately spun around and took off back to where it came from. The coyote came within two metres (~6 ft.) and was so large that I mistook it for a wolf. After checking the field marks it was definitely a coyote with its yellow eyes and characteristic coat. It has "gray or reddish gray, with rusty legs, feet and ears"*.


Page 73, Field Guide to The Mammals, Burt and Grossenheider, 1964(2nd. Printing,) The Peterson Field Guild Series, Houghton Mifflin Company Boston,

Saturday, February 10, 2001

Book on Woodlot Management

Devoured a book on woodlot management, a birthday gift from Carroll, which started this blogger thinking about the idea of managing our newly purchased property as a woodlot and all it entails.

The book entitled Woodlot Management by Bruno Wiskel is about most aspects of operating a small woodlot operation that is more on a personal level. The book is in total 134 pages long including glossary and everything. It does not go too indepth into all the varieties and options of the management practice but provides numerous accounts of personal experience, practice and ideas. It is certainly an excellent introduction that will give the reader a feeling of what it is like to be a woodlot owner along with the family oriented activities etc.

Above all it is based on experience of a practising woodlot manager. The author lives and operates in Alberta Canada.

Woodlot Management, 1995, Bruno Wiskel and Lone Pine Publishing, Edmonton, Vancouver and Redmond WA. ISBN 1-55105-067-6.