Dec 162016
 

Despite the drought of 2016, the apple crop sure seemed to be bumper. Everyone I know who has them growing in their yards seems to  agree. I wouldn’t know, but perhaps apple trees like a good dry spell every now and then. There are a dozen apple trees in the yard of my friend, Angela, near Warsaw. Her trees, too, were full of apples this year, like never before. In addition to attracting many insects as the fallen apples began to rot on the ground, and then deer mice and flying squirrels at night who were dining heavily on various moths and other insects – not to mention the frequent visits paid by deer in the low-light hours later in the season – two other animals appeared and feasted upon the fallen apples, too.

At night, a Porcupine (and sometimes two) have munched on the ground in spots where the heaviest fall of apples has covered the ground near a split-rail cedar fence.  The visits by this creature where usually taking place in August, September, and October. Well then in daylight, starting in November, a Beaver (who had recently moved into my friend’s pond), has been coming up into the yard, and very near where his prickly friend had come at night. This creature has been enjoying the bounty of apples that had hung on to the branches until they fell much later in the season, after heavier frosts.

I suppose if you are an animal that typically eats very bitter things like the poplar twigs that Beavers seem to like, and the bark of conifers enjoyed by Porcupines, then every now and then these animals must satisfy a sweet-tooth craving with things like apples. Biologically speaking, it is likely quite a common occurrence and of a nutritional benefit, these two animals dining on fruit this much. And, as I understand, they had become quite addicted to the apples at my friend’s little orchard, as visits were very frequent while the apple supply lasted. In fact, they were so involved with their fruit fancy, that they both allowed me a close approach on a couple of occasions.

At about noon on December 8th, there was a Hermit Thrush in a cottage yard on South Bay of Stoney Lake. It seemed to be sticking to areas of fallen leaves that were not yet covered in snow, like underneath the edges of a large deck, and among the dead leaves gathered by wind just off the basement walk-out patio around the other side of the cottage. I had never seen one in December before. I hope it finds what it needs to manage this first snow storm of the winter. It would appear that I can leave the gardens be for now, until 2017! You think?  Time for a different shovel, I suppose.

Tim Dyson, Stoney Lake

Porcupine at night with apple - Tim Dyson

Porcupine at night with apple – Tim Dyson

Beaver by day with apple - Tim Dyson

Beaver by day with apple – Tim Dyson

Hermit Thrush - Wikimedia

Hermit Thrush – Wikimedia

May 162016
 

I live on Cameron street in Peterborough on the Otonabee River.  On the morning of May 8th,  I noticed a large black animal n my backyard. At first I had thought it was a small bear, but when I got closer I realized it was a Beaver. It was in my flower garden and it had just cut down one of my upright cedars. I watched in amazement as the Beaver dragged my poor tree down to the waters edge. After about 5 minutes he got scared and jumped back into the water and swam away. I now have an assortment of tree branches at my shoreline that he has cut down off my yard.  I thought I would never see him again, but just after dinner on May 9th he was in my flower bed again, cleaning off what was left of the stump from his job the day before. I find it odd that he is here with the speed of the water flow. He is just amazing g to watch. I am guessing he would weigh close to 60 lbs. I have seen lots of interesting birds and other wildlife in the past couple years that we have lived here.
Jody Gozzard

Beaver - Cameron St. - May 9, 2016 - Judy Gozzard

Beaver – Cameron St. – May 9, 2016 – J0dy Gozzard

May 192015
 

I had an interesting Beaver sighting when one came through East City in Peterborough this morning (May 18) ~9:15 AM. I saw it in Curtis Creek in the area of Euclid Avenue and Trent Street. It was heading upstream. At one point, it noticed me, slapped its tail and headed underwater. Lucky for the beaver,  it had just rained plus the creek was a little deeper in that particular section. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have been able to hide. I left it to its travels after the tail slap. Hopefully it made it to its destination safely, without being interrupted by too many other pesky gawkers like me!

Kathryn Sheridan, Peterborough

Beaver - Kathryn Sheridan

Beaver – Kathryn Sheridan