Category Archives: Wildlife

Snapping Turtles

It’s been awhile since I took some pictures of snapping turtles. We see them in springtime, laying eggs alongside the road. My sister and her husband were here for a short time, and she was hoping to see a snapping turtle. So … we stopped and took some photos.

The next pictures are of one swimming at our beach. I watched it swim past the boat, under the dock, and on past where I was sitting. At first I didn’t know what it was, but soon realized it must be a very big turtle. Wow! And we swim in there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rain, Rain, and More Rain

This spring it seems like it has rained more often than other years. Our spring runoff wasn’t too bad, but then the rain started. We had flooding at our place, and all around us, there were people dealing with flooding. It has not been an easy spring for people.

Places near the water were hit the most.

When it seemed that it was high, it got higher still.

It has not only affected people, but has also affected some of the birds. The mallards were looking to set up nests, but we have not seen any ducklings. The nests must have gotten washed out.

This duck used our shed to roost on. Is it too much water even for her?

And then we saw this groundhog – up on a stump enjoying what little sun we have had.

We have seen him up there several times. Does this indicate that the ground is pretty saturated?

It reminds me of tough times that we can be going through. We don’t have to face our problems alone if we belong to the Lord and turn our problems over to Him.

An Eastern Chipmunk

When we were at Balsam Lake Provincial Park recently, we were entertained by the chipmunks in the campsite. There was one that was particularly friendly and was anxious to get whatever treats there were around.IMG_2951Sometimes it seemed like he was posing and waiting for me to take his picture.IMG_2889The chipmunk stores food in its pouch (cheek area) and then takes the food back to its burrow. In the winter, he wakes and eats from this food supply.
IMG_2979Chipmunks live from two to five years in the wild. Females usually have a litter of 2-7 in the spring.IMG_2905We really enjoyed the antics of this one. It’s amazing seeing the details in the creatures that God has created.IMG_2996-with-scripture

An Aquatic Rodent – the Muskrat

When the ice was going out, we noticed something down by the shore. As we got closer, we were able to see that it was a muskrat. I don’t think I’ve ever been that close to one in the wild, and so I found it fascinating.

I couldn’t figure out what it was eating and it took awhile before I realized that it was eating clams.

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In this next picture, it has opened the shell and is pulling the clam out of the shell. It did this fairly quickly, and then would have another clam in its paws ready to open it.

Each spring we have piles of clam shells near our beach in the water. I always blamed it on raccoons but now I see that there is another culprit.IMG_2594

Apparently they can stay underwater for up to 20 minutes and swim up to 5 km per hour. It didn’t take long for it to swim under the ice to another opening – at first, I wasn’t sure if it was the same one or not.

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I can see why they have the “rat” at the end of their name, because they can certainly look like one. However, it would be a very big rat – about 22 to 25 inches long. The first part of their name “musk” is from their smell. I must have been far enough away from it not to smell it.IMG_2700

These (creatures) all look to you (God),
to give them their food in due season.
Psalm 104:27

Groundhog

Our groundhog has come out of hibernation, as I’m sure its many relatives have. This one was at our neighbours, and looked like he/she was collecting leaves for the nest.

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It wasn’t very happy to see me, but didn’t run away. I think it thought if it turned its back, I might go away.

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The dark area to the left of the picture below is its entrance to its nest. Apparently they have a main entrance and one or more “spyholes” for added safety from enemies.

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We have seen a black one a few years ago, but I was never able to get a picture of it. If it is black, it is known to have melanistic fur which is the opposite of albino fur.

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Although the groundhog likes to eat some of my plants, and makes it too difficult to have a vegetable garden, I still like to see it as it appears on and off through the summer months.

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Wapiti

At one time, elk (wapiti) were found across North America, but now are mostly found in western North America. By the late 1800’s they were no longer in Ontario. However, in recent years, there have been shipments of elk from Elk Island National Park, Alberta, to areas in Ontario. The Bancroft North Hastings area received a herd in 1999/2000. This is the closest area to us, and even though we drive through this area many times a year, we have only seen them once.

This meant that I was quite interested in seeing some elk when we travelled west this fall. We were there during rutting season, and actually walked around in the Elk Island National Park for a bit … and we still didn’t see any there. I was glad we didn’t see any when we were walking on the trails though.

When we were driving through Jasper, we were able to see this male (bull) on the side of the road. His herd was just down the road from him.

 

I was amazed at how close the people were to the elk, even though there were all kinds of warnings about getting too close and how dangerous it was, especially during rutting season when the bulls can be very aggressive. I felt much safer hiding behind our trailer and using my telephoto lens.

When we were at the BC Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, we were able to see another herd, and watch them up close.

We were able to see how aggressive the bull can be – “Thunder” definitely made sure his herd knew that he was in charge.

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I think the most fascinating one for me was the bull at Jasper. They are big – much bigger than deer. With the antlers, the bull can be 9 feet tall. I wouldn’t want to meet one on a trail.

Another one of God’s creatures for us to enjoy.

Grizzlies

We had the opportunity to visit the BC Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Kamloops, B.C. in our travels last month. Their focus is on rehabilitating animals that are brought in to the centre – orphans and injured animals. They have some animals that have not been able to be rehabilitated and are there permanently.

We found this very interesting, and one animal we really enjoyed watching was the grizzly. They have two, a brother and a sister, who were orphaned.

We don’t have grizzlies in our area. The most notable difference in them from other bears is the hump on their back.

I know they can be fierce, but this next picture makes me think of a large teddy bear.

The people at the centre hide their food so that they have to hunt for it, much like they would in the wild.

One thing I didn’t realize about them is that they climb trees very easily. Both of the bears climbed the trees.

Their claws are between 2 and 4 inches long – scary looking! I was glad there was a fence between them and us, especially when I saw how easily they pulled up rocks and logs when looking for their food.

 Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power;
for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.
Revelation 4:11