Thursday, October 6, 2011

Animals Anticipating Autumn

This time of year, there are small changes every few days.  Walking around the Dipper Ranch is like a wildland version of the I-Spy game.    Here are a few snapshots of the critters easing into the autumnal season.
Over a period of a few days, hundreds of swallows gather on the powerlines along Alpine Road.  Then that group sets off on its next stage of migration, and another group starts collecting.
The young coyotes are starting to disperse from the den.
I see them out during the day more frequently, sometimes doing foolish things like talking to the powerlines.
Spider webs are everywhere.  This is one of the largest funnel webs I have ever seen.
I pulled a yellow-bellied racer out of the springbox and relocated it to the Newt Pond.  It tried to bite my boot.
I'm mad at Cole and call him Killer, but he ignores me and enjoys the warm sun.
A mama raccoon and 3 juveniles show up on the wildlife camera in the backyard.  One night I woke up to a loud noise.  I turned the outside light on and mama raccoon froze, then carefully stepped between the maple leaves to slip away quietly, but then the kid raccoons came scurrying after her scattering leaves and made a ruckus.
More nighttime triggers of the wildlife camera - a doe and . . . 
a buck.  Unless those are antenna of a beetle crawling on the camera.
It seems like a lot is going on in the backyard at night.

And the rutting seasons starts.  A big buck chases another buck away from his harem of does.

Are you seeing any subtle signs of seasonal changes?


  1. I very nice series. When I see a large amount of birds on powerlines I think of the combined weight they must be exerting on the wires. It must add up to a surprising figure.

  2. Never thought about the weight of all those birds. I meet with PG&E now and then to talk about their line clearing. They have all kinds of formulas re clear zones needed for different types of lines, slopes and wind factors. I'll have to ask them about bird tonnage. That will wake them up.


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