NEW KID ON THE
Here is a new kid on the block! I was at the campground Thursday morning looking in vain for signs of spring. I did hear a few new bird calls, but not much else. On my way out, one of the workers signaled to me to come and see something. We marched over to the mudflats and there lay this seal, high and dry! The tide was still quite low, a good three hours away from giving this animal water to swim in. Ironically, Mike told me that it was left by the tide the previous day, but he and Roger pushed it back into water as it rose, and it swam away. So here it was back again. It showed no sign of injury that I could see, but I decided it needed attention before some hungry animal preyed upon it. I called the Marine Resource Animal rescue service. Fortunately, a representative was on her way out this way. I later heard she came and took the animal to be cared for medically. Apparently, it was molting unnaturally and had parasites in its feces. It was determined to be a Harp Seal which are not often seen in these parts. Harbor Seals are commonly seen. Harp Seals are sought by some for their fur, unfortunately.This animal made funny little squeaky backing noises when I approached it. It also showed its teeth which kept me at a distance.
As if this encounter wasn't enough, I had another amazing animal cross my path. Actually it had crossed another car's path and ended up dead. As most of you know, I go after roadkills since it may be a rare moment to see one of our local animals. I stopped for a look and it was a very large and heavy beaver. I picked it up by the tail and put it in the back of my car, since I was on my way for a swimming workout. As I was showering, one of the new swimmers heard that I had picked up a beaver and asked to see it. Well, that woman was a retired surgeon and she offered to help remove its fur! And that she did, very methodically while explaining the various organs and tissues. It was almost more than I could handle. So now I have a beautiful fur that requires treatment. I went down to the local person in charge of tagging any trapped animals. Turns out I should not have picked up the beaver in the first place because I don't have a trapping license! Roadkills are not immune from these processes. I was granted a tag out of the kindness of his heart, and I'm still waiting to hear from someone who will treat the skin properly. The bones are underground to let nature clean them, hopefully.
The beaver was 38 inches long, including the scaly tail. We thought it weighed about 35 lbs. The picture to the left shows one of the front paws that it uses to carry sticks and mud when building dams and lodges. The hind paws are beautifully webbed.
Meanwhile the frogs are croaking and I'm tied up with a beaver. The Wood Frogs have been sounding off, along with night songs of the Peepers. The Osprey are back, and I just saw a Mourning Cloak butterfly flying along side the road. The Goldfinch males are sporting their new bright yellow and black plumage. To top it off, most of our ice and snow have disappeared. Oh the joy of springtime! 4/8/09 Ronnie springing forward.