Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The wildlife comes alive

Now that the snow is starting to melt and the weather is warming up, the wildlife is beginning to appear, and sometimes in unexpected places.

We have had a fair amount of fox visits lately. We've seen them and heard them. Up on the hill behind our house, there was a nice, clean line of fox tracks. He clearly knew where he was headed. In contrast, Jasper's tracks run every which way.

Not far off were a different set of tracks. They were too small for fox, so I am guessing raccoon or skunk, but I haven't bothered to get out my tracking guide book.

Meanwhile, the moose are showing up everywhere. This one is wandering down past our local radio station, one block off Main Street. Last night there were three about 200 yards from our house, but it was too dark for pictures.

Most of the moose look like crap right now. As they switch from their winter coats to a lighter, breezier summer wardrobe, they all look like they have mange.

I've driven over an hour to grab photos of the Sage Grouse doing its courtship dance. Other than those adventures, I almost never see one. Even if you are close, they often hunker down and become nearly invisible. Last night, driving home from a Friends of Animals board meeting, I saw four males, all meandering along the road. One wouldn't get out of my way. I finally got Jasper to give him a "Woof" and he walked off the road. I wonder if there is a lek anywhere near our Rescue Ranch.

Mud season is a crappy time around here, but at least the local wildlife provides some entertainment. It won't be long before they all start producing babies. I really want to grab some shots of a fox family this year.
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