While looking at a timber sale last week with a fellow forester, we walked past this big northern Pacific rattlesnake. His dog walked within inches in front of the rattlesnake and it buzzed like crazy. The dog didn’t react to the snake at all. That’s probably why the snake didn’t strike the dog. I took the picture and video with my cell phone so it’s not the greatest quality. Be careful if you hear this sound.
Pacific fisher in pen and ink. Mary and I had a chance meeting with a pair of fishers. That’s when I took the photo that this picture was based on. We watched this fisher as it climbed up and down a Douglas-fir tree while it was hunting.
The Pacific fisher is a large member of the weasel family that makes its home on our California timberland.
This was a different Pacific fisher that unknowingly visited us. Observing wildlife from a hidden hunting blind is a great way to watch animals in their natural state.
The fisher investigates our wildlife camera. Come on little fella just a bit farther. Darn, we didn’t get his picture on the wildlife camera.
The company I work for, Sierra Pacific Industries, has been involved in a fisher relocation project for a number of years. Our partners in the project include US Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and researchers from North Carolina State University. The purpose is to re-establish fisher into parts of the Sierra Nevada Mountains that used to be their historic range. The project has been highly successful. You can read more about the project here at the Fish and Wildlife Service website.
I had jury duty today. It’s always good to come prepared to do a lot of waiting around and wait we did. After I finished returning work emails I settled in. However, I was prepared because I had my traveling sketch pad a assorted pens. There was nothing left to do but sit and draw. I was at a table. There were two ladies at the same table and one wouldn’t stop shaking the table so I couldn’t use it. I managed. I find drawing makes the time go by quickly. Also, when I’m focused on drawing, people don’t talk to me, which is nice if I don’t feel like talking. The judge finally came in to update to us. The cases before the court all pleaded out instead of going to trial so they cut us all loose.
It’s been a quiet week around the osprey nest. They’re hunkered down and sitting on the eggs. It’s a good week to share another one of our locals. I ran into this youngster out behind the log decks. I can never guess what animals I may bump into around the mill. Wildlife will exploit habitat wherever they find it.
If you like opossums and you want a great children’s book about an opossum I highly recommendOh No! Baby-O. Written and illustrated by Mary A Livingston.
Bliss and I were out marking trees a few weeks ago when we came upon several wood rats nests. They build these large stick pile akin to a beaver lodge on land. They are very industrious creatures. They are also an important prey species for forest predators.
Bliss was very impressed with this massive collection of sticks. So impressed that she claimed it for herself. Sadly for her it wasn’t going to fit in my vest and she could only carry one stick at a time.
This clever rat built its nest in the trees. No sticks for Bliss from this one.
Bliss found a deer skull under the nest. “No Bliss it’s not a rat skull and no you can’t eat it!”
This is week that the osprey customarily return to their nest in the electrical tower at the sawmill. I haven’t seen them yet. Usually the male shows up a week or two before the female. This year they will be in for a bit of a surprise. A little over a month ago a pair of eagles moved in. I’m not sure how this will go, but the eagle are a lot bigger than the osprey. I’d have to put my money on the eagles. Click on the gallery to enlarge to photos and get the dirt.
Nice looking birds.
He seems to have staked a claim here.
I keep waiting for them to gather sticks, but the haven’t. I not convinced their serious about nesting here.
These are all osprey pictures from previous years.
The osprey have inspired art from yours truly.
This has been an osprey nest literally for decades.
It’s a prime location for fishing birds with its grand overlook of the Sacramento river.
It hasn’t been without struggle. last season it rained so much the nest grew a garden before the birds arrived. They had to weed it.
When the summer heat get over about 106 the parents shade the chicks.
Two years ago the male osprey was struck be a helicopter blade and died. he was trying to defend the nest from the helicopter that was inspecting the tower.
The osprey have raised many generations.
The osprey probably won’t be too happy with the new residents.
Stay tuned to see how this turns out.
Below are a few of the osprey posts over the years.
Mary and I took a trip to Alaska last spring to spend time with family. While traveling from Fairbanks to the coast we took an afternoon to visit Denali National Park. It was the pre-season and the tour buses weren’t running yet. Therefore, we were able to drive 30 miles into the park. Unfortunately, it was cloudy and we weren’t to see the mountain. On the positive side we were able to stop anytime we wanted to take pictures. In fact, our little group did so well spotting wildlife that we soon had a caravan of vehicles pulling off the road behind us so they could see the wildlife we found. The gallery below is just a few of the wonderful sights we enjoyed. Just click on the photos to enlarge them.
Denali National Park, rugged beauty.
Black spruce full of cones.
Porcupine in a spruce tree.
Black spruce cones.
Strutting for the ladies!
A beaver pond.
The owner of the beaver pond.
The willow trees were beginning to flower when we visited.
A boreal owl.
What are you lookin’ at?
A visit to remember.
This was our first trip to Alaska, but won’t be our last. We had a terrific time. We were there for a week. These shots were just from one afternoon. Stay tuned for more pictures from Alaska.