Mammals


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No doubt sensing the frequent presence of our doe and fawns, a solitary white-tailed buck of November’s rut cruises Little Crum Creek, resting many a morning hour in their well-worn spot.

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By fall, spring’s fawn has well outgrown her coat’s white dots.
But, rarely far from mom and sibling, she still often wears her share of the family’s spot in the sun.

100_5202cropVExpecting to uncover a spider seen there the day before, I curiously lifted a flat concrete slab and met instead the living portrait of a pointed, young, black-eyed woodchuck face. Inches from mine, its steady, blank, and unruffled stare filled the entire frame of a cinderblock hole.

Seen here, after about twenty minutes, the little marmot emerges.

Later, I was amused, but not surprised, when three young woodchucks surfaced like Stooges from the cinders, falling all over each other for daylight.

They clambered the entire way to follow mom along a thin creekside trail worn by generations of groundhogs, visiting her favorite spots and secret burrowing holes where they’ll deftly disappear of a coming day.

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Small enough to hold in your arms, and barely strong enough to walk, this newborn fawn spent several hours a day recently resting on a bed of leaves … its solicitous mother occasionally emerging from the knotweed.

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 A white-tailed deer doe in the mat of multiflora rose.

  Tracks provide impressions of a presence, in shapes of absence.

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  We have not seen the deer in months, and we know they are near.

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100_3874cropA couple of raccoons dropped by for a forage and climb.

The first skedaddled at first sight.  But the other paid little mind.

He looked around a bit, then went right up the tree, climbing easily on the ivy.

A couple of summers ago, an  entire raccoon family would ascend this tree upon a gradual tangle of sturdy vines.  One by one, the family would climb, each piling in a leafy crux of limb and trunk until the last one reached the others.  Then they’d climb higher together, straight up the ivy.

Looks like the raccoons will do just fine without the old vines.

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