Sunday, November 29, 2015

A few pictures

From my daily walk

A shagbark hickory tree covered with galls (warts).

A tree festooned with Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia).  Virginia Creeper has brilliant fall color and its berries are avidly sought by many forms of wildlife.
A close up of one of the dangly vines.  I think this is artsy in a creepy kind of way.
A date stamp from a sidewalk on the west side of Lansing.  It sure looks like "1935" to me.


I talked to a couple of deer hunters today.  They are seeing very few fawns this year.  One estimated that he is seeing one fawn for every six mature does.  Speculation.runs rampant.  Some think it is due to Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease.  Others blame coyotes.

The strong United States dollar and political tensions between Russia and the United States resulted in very low fur prices.  There is very little incentive to trap raccoons, skunks and coyotes.  The populations will bloom until they get whacked back by canine distemper or some other epidemic.  It will be a tough time for ground nesting birds and fawns for a while.


  1. Yep, looks like 80-year concrete

  2. I'd agree, that's been there a while! And fawn counts are down in Texas too...

  3. Haven't had much opportunity to be out and about counting fawns/does this year; didn't even have the chance to pull my rifle out of the closet.

    But... this should not have been an 'on' year for EHD... records, from SCWDS, at UGA, who've been tracking it since back in the 1950s, suggest that major EHD epizootics occur every 9 years, with a secondary significant epizootic every 4 years or so, superimposed on that 9-yr cycle.

    We see an occasional EHD case almost every year, and saw a couple through the diagnostic lab here this year... but certainly nothing like what we saw in 2007 and 2012...

  4. Not sure about EHD here on the western side of the state, but the coyotes have blossomed from when I was young. Back in 1978, when I graduated high school, up in Hesperia, you had to go way, way, out into the country to find coyotes. Now they are even here down near Muskegon. And up in Hesperia, they are everywhere.
    Fox numbers seem to be running high, from friends I have spoken with around the area also.
    Of course, turkeys are the number one success story of the DNR here in Michigan. They should be proud of the job they have done with this majestic bird. Again, when I was young, you just didn't see much of them. Now, people here in the city are having the come up and eat fallen seed from the bird feeders in their back yard.
    I think deer numbers are mainly controlled by the DNR politically motivated because of auto insurance rates and the farm lobby. I can understand both. I have witnessed first hand what a herd of 100 or so white tailed deer can do to a field of foot tall corn plants in just a few days time. It is devastating to a farmers bottom line. It can be tough to strike a balance between hunter and farmer and insurance company. Hunters mean money for the state, don't forget. If we could let the DNR do it all by itself, they could figure it out, buy the politicians want to get involved as well, and that also muddies the water.
    Who said you can't please all the people all the time?
    Abe, you probably shouldn't try.


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