On December 31st, 2011 I got together with some dear lady friends to get outdoors and and enjoy the mild weather. My friend Sasha has a beautiful home in Italy Valley, NY which is in the heartland of the Finger Lakes. The 4 of us met up at Sasha's then headed out for a stroll through the woods.
We took a short drive to a trail head that is on a
Wildlife Management Area.
As you can see, as of NYE, we had no snow in the Finger Lakes. As I write this several days later, that has changed! It's snowing and blowing out there...
Starting at the bottom left: Banjo, Sasha, Elaina, Patty, Me, & Lucy
Lucy - Yellow English Labrador Retriever (My Aunt's dog whom I love like my own cousins!)
Banjo - Australian Cattle Dog (Sasha's old man who limped along like a champ)
The dogs and I!
Lucy and Banjo hanging out in an ICE cold creek
Yellow-bellied sapsucker holes in a pine tree
Along the way, we came out to a clearing near some man-made ponds. There was a bluebird box that was leaning. Sasha had been here previously and pointed it out to me, knowing how much I love bears. As you can see in the picture on the left, there is a chunk of woods missing.Right above the number 2 is where the bear bit the birdhouse. The picture on the left is the roof of the birdhouse and claw marks are obvious. Black bears are very social, communicative animals. We believe the bear who did this marking was doing just that: marking. NOT trying to get into the birdhouse. When Sasha visited the birdhouse the first time, there was not a nest in it and no evidence on the ground of a nest. There WAS a wasp nest on the ground, but that didn't seem like "enough" to attract the bear to that birdhouse and to mangle it. Maybe we're wrong.
And that's it folks! I have some camera trap pics to post, and I will do that tomorrow. I hope the end of 2011 and beginning of 2012 finds everyone HAPPY, HEALTHY, and raring to go.
Here's to new beginnings!