Sunday, July 17, 2016

Where are the young'uns? #phenology

By this time most Summers, we've seen a fawn or two in the field behind the house and watched goslings go from down to feathers. One or more hen turkeys has often begun leading  a flock of poults through the yard in search of ticks, seeds, ants, grasshoppers or whatever. So far this Summer, we've seen no young'uns.

whitetail doe and fawns - 2014
whitetail doe and fawns - 2014
Photo by J. Harrington
The explanation for a lack of gosling sightings is simple. The county has closed the southern road through the Carlos Avery pools while they replace the culverts and bridge. At home, we've seen fewer does this Summer than we're used to, not sure why. There's one turkey hen that keeps visiting (by herself) but the only poults I've seen were crossing the road about a half mile south of the house. I'm hoping that the next few weeks will bring more families wandering through or else I'll start to wonder about a lack of success in this year's breeding/birthing pattern for our turkeys and whitetails.

turkey hens and poults - 2014
turkey hens and poults - 2014
Photo by J. Harrington
We do keep seeing more and more sandhill cranes in the local fields so their recovery seems to be progressing. Haven't yet seen and sandhill colts so that's something to continue to look forward to. I suspect we'll see lot's of geese as they start their training flights. The closed road should have eliminated the road kills I've noticed each of the past couple of years. Remembering back to the days when they times I saw most wildlife was during hunting season, I now know what I missed and that maybe these are the good old days, at least for some things.

The Fawn

Edna St. Vincent Millay

There it was I saw what I shall never forget
And never retrieve.
Monstrous and beautiful to human eyes, hard to
He lay, yet there he lay,
Asleep on the moss, his head on his polished cleft
small ebony hoves,
The child of the doe, the dappled child of the deer.

Surely his mother had never said, "Lie here
Till I return," so spotty and plain to see
On the green moss lay he.
His eyes had opened; he considered me.

I would have given more than I care to say
To thrifty ears, might I have had him for my friend
One moment only of that forest day:

Might I have had the acceptance, not the love
Of those clear eyes;
Might I have been for him in the bough above
Or the root beneath his forest bed,
A part of the forest, seen without surprise.

Was it alarm, or was it the wind of my fear lest he
That jerked him to his jointy knees,
And sent him crashing off, leaping and stumbling
On his new legs, between the stems of the white

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