Name:
Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

What you have here is an old guy. In education for 30 years, started teaching elementary, ended as library and media director of community college. I've enjoyed mountain climbing, sports car rallying, was pipe major of a bagpipe band, played guitar and sang during the folk revival, walking and hiking later in life. Now fairly sedentary. Enjoy reading, esp. mysteries and fantasy, but my reading is pretty eclectic. Enjoy movies, giving Netflix a workout.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Wildlife Report

A news story in the paper the other day was good news for a change. It reported that two whooping crane chicks had hatched and were being raised by their parents. There was a time when there were only 20 whooping cranes left. This species is one of the two species of cranes in North America. Today there are two flocks, one containing about 200 birds and the other about 60. The other crane species in N.A is, of course, the sandhill crane, of which there are thousands. We have seen these magnificent birds at the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico, where they gather in the late autumn. Anyway, the continuing recovery of the whooping crane is great news. We’ve seen a pair at the International Crane Foundation near Baraboo, Wisconsin but have yet to see this sspecies in the wild..

While I’m talking about wildlife I might as well tell you about the racoons and possum that seem to use our back yard for a highway late at night. My wife usually goes out to soak in an outdoor hot tub after the 11 p.m. news. She came in the other night and said, “Come and see this.” A mother racoon and four or five babies (kits?) were climbing over the back fence. The babies were none too steady and have yet to master walking along the thin boards that make up the fence. And they weren’t anxious to get down on the other side. They would hesitate, then almost fall, catching themselves by their front paws and hauling themselves back up to the top. We watched the show for about five minutes until the kits finally garnered the courage to get down into the neighbor’s back yard. The possum, dumb as they come (only Pogo had any sense), didn’t even scare as he almost ambled across Anna’s foot. I have no idea what these creatures are seeking. Food, obviously, but from what source. Maybe cat food for the neighbor’s cat that is left out. We’ve looked to see if they’ve been taking strawberries or blueberries off of our bushes but it doesn’t appear to be so. So that’s the report from the Denton Wildlife Refuge until something equally exciting occurs.

2 Comments:

Blogger Bill said...

It's always nice to hear good news about the whooping cranes.

One very early morning years ago I was going fishing in a farm pond well away from anything resembling a town. The sun was just coming up, and it was a foggy day. When I parked the truck near the pond and got out, a couple of sandhill cranes rose up from somewhere and took off. For just a second there I thought I was in Jurassic Park.

6:49 AM  
Blogger Randy Reichardt said...

Because the largest naturally occurring flock of whooping cranes lives in northern Alberta during the summer, most of us here take a serious interest in the status of these amazing birds.

10:36 PM  

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