FALL AND FALLEN HEROES........I could only take this picture of a fallen hero in a sad ending. A camper found this deer with an arrow through the chest. How and why this happened is a mystery, but now the remains tell an unfortunate story. The body was too decomposed to take a full picture. It is the hunting season in Maine for better or worse.
I drove over to Sanddollar Beach to release the last Moon Snails and one live Sanddollar that I had been keeping alive for programs at the local school. The docks and floats are being winterized, so I can't keep my overboard buckets stocked with animals. It gave me a good feeling to set the animals free to roam again. I checked the beaches down on the north end of the island, tantalized by tracks of a mink that followed the strand line. The tide was out, but very little was found left high and dry on the sand.
On the way out, I stopped at the lobster pound where the dam was being readied for stocking the cove. It is still not decided whether there will be lobsters kept in the pound since the price of those crustaceans has not dropped significantly. Keeping these animals alive over the winter months is risky.
The week is ending on a foggy note. I decided to check the beaches at a time when most hikers are still having breakfast or sleeping in. The fog was thick, but I followed the strand line in the company of birds. I soon realized the birds had food on their minds. Small fish were jumping and being pursued along the water's edge. I think mackerel were in pursuit. Then, as I wished I had brought a fishing pole, I looked up through the fog and saw a very large bird sitting on the sand......with a white head no less. It must be a Bald Eagle, and sure enough as I approached, the bird took flight revealing its white tail. It sat for a while on Joe's Head, but again flew when I tried to get close. This is the best I could get in the fog. I went back to see if the tracks it left on the beach could be recorded, but the imprints were not clear. What a huge, magnificent bird!
I continued to work my way through the fog to other beaches. Perhaps you can recognize where this picture was taken. The red foliage of Staghorn Sumac is spectacular right now. You see it in the foreground. I also hiked around the Lily Pond which is very low. I actually walked on the edge where the water has receded. There is no fresh beaver activity, though I did see a large hollow in the shoreline on the eastern edge. Maybe it's been there all along, and is not anything new.
I checked out Sunset Lagoon, and watched a lone lobsterman maneuver near the shoreline pulling traps. I wondered how many boats would go out in the thick fog.
On my way home, I found a second Opossum roadkill near a wetland on route 209. These animals are becoming more apparent in Maine, perhaps as an indication of global warming. They are much more common in Connecticut. Their bare ears and tail are vulnerable to frost bite, so they prefer warmer climes. I've started a chart of roadkills to determine where and how often our animals are losing out to traffic. Sometimes, it is an opportunity to see species you might otherwise not encounter. Perhaps I told you last week I stopped to determine what animal had been hit, and the only discernible identification was the tail.......it was a baby beaver with only a four inch long scaly tail. 10/22/07 Ronnie in a fog.