They’re back! Friday, Apr 22 2016 

After several years’ absence, though they may have been around (just invisible), I startled one today.  Probably not the same one, of course; but a very handsome one. Perhaps even one of the kits seen in this photo from 2014.  Let’s hope they make a dent in the rodent population.

Who are they you ask? The Grey Foxes.

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Not Pooh Monday, Apr 27 2015 

While contemplating our big Cucumber Magnolia for some troubling die-back*, I noticed something odd. At first, I thought it was an ambitious woodpecker. This was worrisome since ambitious woodpeckers mean ill trees. But, when I put my hand against the marks, my nails fit the marks….


The red mark on trunk is about six and a half feet above the ground. You can see some other scrapes on the trunk to the bottom right.


Here is another mark, on the other side of the tree. The spacing is roughly an inch in between slashes. The sets of slash marks are roughly paired, and about four feet apart, climbing the tree.

No guesses?

It would appear that one of our local bears climbed the tree in the last few days. I agree with them that it is a lovely tree to hang out in, nice big horizontal branches, a good view, and all….but!


* It is officially #16 on the Connecticut Notable tree list for size, but may have moved up the list since the measurement. The tree is probably the most central tree in our landscape, so any dead branches are worrisome.

One extreme to another Saturday, Apr 18 2015 

Funny how it goes from nothing to inspire writing to too busy doing to write…

Two new trees: a Serbian Spruce and a Sweetbay Magnolia, joined the collection today. We shall see how they do, hopefully well…the holes are good….

Stopping to enjoy the land is as important as working to maintain it. I had the pleasure today of managing to put aside the to-do list (in this case a list for the land trust of which I am a board member) and just enjoy a piece of property we manage. This property is something of a love/hate for the board. A gorgeous, big parcel with the potential to be a real showcase, it also protects an important bit of land. But, it has just about every problem that an old New England dairy farm/sand-gravel pit/abandoned property can have.

However, we collectively decided to simply enjoy the walk, nominally meant to determine a possible trail. The view was a good reason. One wood turtle, far from the stream, likely laying her eggs; numerous tree swallows; three phoebe nests (one in a muddy blown down tree root-ball); Ruby Crowned Kinglets; one Sharp-Shinned Hawk; one Broad-Winged Hawk; one Red Tail Hawk; a variety of other birds; sign of coyote, bobcat, porcupine; and (the crowning glory) two wonderfully well constructed, very active (one trail was actually wet) beaver dams. That the beavers were busy cutting down the alder, birch, and willow we had carefully cleared the invasive shrubs from two years running and that their dams made a several proposed river crossing rather problematic for our trail design….well, entirely worth it.

Remarkable what the Connecticut woods have!

Thanksgiving Dinner? Saturday, Nov 15 2014 

Hard to believe that forty years ago, turkeys were locally extinct in Connecticut. This is part of our local bachelor band, nine in total this year.

and not dinner!


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