Posts Tagged Wildlife
We often see Turkey Vultures circling high overhead in thermals rising from, in these parts, sun-heated asphalt parking lots and roads, always on the alert for roadkill. A trio paused for a rest in the trees out front and I managed to get one mediocre portrait against an overcast sky:
They’re staggeringly ugly up close and awkward on the ground, but graceful in their natural element…
The sparrows started building a nest in our front-yard box, but progress seems intermittent…
A pair of Cooper’s Hawks have been hauling off rodents and shredding songbirds at a steady pace, so we think they’re nesting nearby.
Taken diagonally through two layers of rather dirty 1955-ish window glass with the Sony DSC-H5 and the 1.7× tele-adapter, so it’s not the best of images… but if I were a rodent, I’d be worried!
We almost stepped directly into this scene:
A closer look at the carnage, seen diagonally through a pane of 1955-era glass:
The Cooper’s Hawk remained frozen in place while I got a better view from outside:
It then flew away with the gibbage in its claws, leaving us a doormat covered with feathers.
This wonderful texture lives at the top of Cochran Hill Road, where I spotted it on a recent walk. That tiny hole on the right trunk suggests more trouble than meets the human eye…
It’s now a background for the portrait monitor.
Known to be true: chipmunks love drain pipes!
Obviously, an open pipe attracts rodents.
That didn’t matter with a three-foot pipe attached directly to the downspouts, but, as part of the driveway project, I routed the house storm drains and wall footing drain pipes about 20 feet down from the new retaining wall, with the two joining into a single outlet. There’s a cleanout plug on the storm drain line, but the footing drain consists of about 50 feet of corrugated and perforated tubing that would be just about the finest possible chipmunk habitat.
In principle, one would simply glue a grate into the final fitting and be done with it, but leaves from the gutter will pack behind the grate, so it much be removable. Laving the grate loose means it’ll pop out at the slightest provocation and, most likely, roll another hundred feet down the driveway into the street.
Rather than coping with that, I drilled a clearance hole in the elbow and tapped a matching hole in the grate:
I have a few white nylon 1/4-20 cutoffs from the bike fairing clamps, so I wrecked the threads on one and jammed it into a black nylon thumbscrew:
Now, of course, the critters can still climb down the drainpipes from the gutters and set up housekeeping in the plumbing, but I’m not putting grates where I must climb onto the roof to clear them. A chipmunk dropped from two stories will scamper away; I’d never walk again.
We shall see how this works out…
This critter lived at the Cary Institute for Ecosystems Studies in Millbrook, back in 2006. I have no idea what it grew up to be, but the picture is one of my all-time favorite portrait-mode monitor backgrounds.
Hand-held with the little Casio EX-Z850 camera (which is now with our Larval Engineer), ruthlessly cropped from a much larger image, and resized to fit the monitor…
I spotted this bit of engineering while riding on the Dutchess Rail Trail at Lake Walton:
Evidently, the beaver stopped just before the tree toppled, because the last cut looks very much like a chainsaw.
I didn’t spot their lodge out in the lake; they may have tucked it under the bank below the railroad bed.
If they keep this up, they’re sure to get trapped and moved somewhere they can’t interfere with our enjoyment of the natural landscape along the rail trail. [wince]