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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer is Here at Long Ridge Deer Camp

I love summer at Long Ridge deer Camp! Babes have been born, the birds are crazy, fawns in our pastures, and nature moving, moving, along...this is the first year I have seen so many creatures on our mineral spots...not sure if they all want the minerals, but it sure is a social spot..below is a rabbit that appears to be pretty alert ( I guess unalertness gives you a half life of about 30 seconds in these new England woods...)
This raccoon seems to be partaking of the minerals...

The coyote here looks like he wants the supplement, but probably is just smelling the rabbit/skunk/raccoon/deer/ bobcat/bear scent...
Yikes, time to get outta here!!!
If you are wondering what we do here between deer seasons, check this out below. I was trying to clear the last quarter mile trail of ice storm blow down this week, and gave up. I decided to simply cut another trail and bypass the old. It saved much time but in my work I discovered this centuries old White Oak, deep in our woods. It is huge, for this far north, I would guess 45/50 inches through at DBH. It was so tightly packed with red oaks and hemlocks that I could not even see leaves on it 100 feet above. So, of course an hours worth of chainsaw work later I could finally see leaves of a vibrant oak far above. I will finish clearing a twenty five foot circle around it, fertilize it with 15-15-15, and watch the acorns pour to the ground! These white acorns are preferred above the red oak acorns by all mast eating animals.. They are sweeter, though have a bit less protein.
A few trees cleared away...
And now I can see the healthy White Oak leaves far above. It is alive!
Next down is a little buck on the far Ridge..
Another sleek healthy deer...
A bobcat checking out the mineral lick...

Imagine that this doe would have so little respect for hunters that she would pee on a mineral lick!

Imagine that this young buck would be at all interested!
This fellow below looks promising, and he'll be handsome by fall.
Tell me what you think this bird is, flying so close to the camera. If I like your answer the best, I might send you a T-Shirt! (-:
These two pictures below are of the same babe. Her mom is the doe that pounded our Sheltie deep into swamp mud several weeks ago when the dogs came upon her fawm. Our sheltie 'Luna' is mostly mended now, even her cracked ribs are better. But her left eye is still messed up. We'll see.

So! Next project is to start bow practice..I have numbered my hunting arrows, ordered a new broadhead target, and plan to start as soon as it arrives! Bow season starts in just over two months!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Surging Toward Summer At Long Ridge

Two weeks to go and it will be officially summer here at LRDC. Unofficially I always consider June 1st the beginning of summer. Birds are jumping their nests and flying, hummingbirds everywhere, and warm. Whatever, it is really late in the season to still have trails shut down due to wind and ice damage, but I still have one quarter mile stretch to clear large trees from. In fact, it is so clogged that I am going to bypass it, and cut an entirely new trail to save time. While scouting that out the other day I came across this porky quill pile. I scratched through it and found nary a bone, so I surmise a Fisher killed and ate it. But then 100 feet farther in I found this ice crashed hemlock with the top branches eaten clear of bark, which is what the porcupines do. Perhaps this one was in the top of this hemlock when it came crashing down 70 feet. Maybe he was wounded and couldn't get far, and a Fisher came along. We'll never know, but it seems likely.

The bear is walking past a mineral lick, where the following deer pictures were taken by a Cuddeback. Decent size, and if it is a sow, she would have her cubs with her. I expect it is a boar, as it's the first picture of a bear this spring at Long Ridge. Appears very healthy.
Same mineral lick showing a budding two pointer that will likely bloom to a four or six within the weeks.
And below a budding four that may sprout with time. We are about three weeks behind antler development here compared to the Virginias for instance...
And below a couple of buddies - until October!
Zoom in on this doe and you will see that she is nursing...
No need to zoom in on this beauty to see that she hasn't given birth yet...soon, to be sure!
My last post showed the four robin's eggs in the nest, and then three hatched...well, here they are all four and did fine. We checked them daily.
Then three flew out and the fourth hung in there for about an hour before it too flew down into the field. We watched them all being fed through our binocs.
A lonely strong nest is all that sits there today...

First cutting is up the elevator and in. Barns retouched where necessary, fields mowed, and the spring rush of our small farm is receding. I just want to escape to my camp and the woods! Bow practice is calling..Jack

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