November 13, 2015 at 7:20 am (birds, fungi, history (human), mammals)
Tags: preserve monitoring, raccoon, red-tailed hawk, ruby-crowned kinglet, St. James Farm, tracking
by Carl Strang
There has been a gradual buildup of photos from my monitoring excursions at St. James Farm, and it’s time to empty the bin. Some are pictures of birds.
Ruby-crowned kinglets have been common migrants around the forest edges.
A pair of adult red-tailed hawks frequently patrols the sky.
This juvenile red-tail was tolerated or unnoticed by the residents as it perched near the preserve’s boundary on Sunday.
These young red-tails often are naïve and approachable. This was one of the first photos I took, from just a few yards away. I had to back off to get the entire bird in the frame for the previous photo.
Proper awareness in monitoring includes looking in all directions and all size scales.
A small mushroom and moss growing on a fallen log.
Elsewhere on the same log, a raccoon left a record of its passing. Its five toenails left characteristically spaced scratches when it leaped up to the log. It did not gain purchase here, so either fell back to the ground or otherwise had enough momentum and grip to gain the log.
Building the story of a preserve also means looking for clues to the landscape’s human history.
These corroding pieces of metal slowly are being engulfed by the continued growth of this tree. They are 30 feet above the ground. At some point I hope to learn the story here.
Accumulating experiences of an area’s beauty and blemishes leads to an internal transformation: falling in love with a place.