Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Lime Kiln Farm Wildlife Sancturary, Sheffield

Last Tuesday we used our snowshoes at Lime Kiln Farm Wildlife Sanctuary in Sheffield. We saw lots of signs that wildlife had been out and about—tracks, scat, signs of feeding and, surprisingly, a mostly-eaten carcass.

We speculated upon what animal it could be, perhaps a fox, a fisher, a coyote, but did not think any of those were right. So we asked the experts, Doug Bruce at Berkshire Natural Resources Council, who forwarded the photo to others and, in the end, decided it was a raccoon. Mary Holland concurred. Interesting that we did not think of a raccoon, probably because its fur is so distinctive that we didn't know the other characteristics such as teeth and feet. Anyway, it was clear that a drama had taken place the night before (or a few days ago) with many tracks and indentations in the snow.

Here's the carcass we found on the trail.
We saw lots of rabbit tracks in the bushes on the edges of the fields.
There's a nice view of Mount Everett.
Among the mostly young trees,
we found this huge old oak.

Here's a hole through the snow to the ground and remains of hickory nut shells below it. A squirrel (I'm guessing) was looking for food. We saw many holes and not all of them had shells around them but many did. How did it know where to dig? 

Turkey tracks.

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