Lily, Ted, Tasha, a Frog, and the Marten - UPDATE November 7, 2020

I haven’t heard anything the last couple days, but Lily was still active as of 9:42 PM a couple evenings ago (11-5). Being up this late doesn’t fit with what we usually see for pregnant females, so we’re still learning. When she left the trail cam area she was headed for her den. Snow is forecast for this coming week, so maybe we can track her and learn more about what she is doing.

Ted watching mouseTed watching mouse Deer mouse w/TedDeer mouse w/Ted

 

Also, a couple balmy days ago, "HappyCub" caught Ted watching a deer mouse (above) and "Taughtbybears" sent a video of Tasha bathing in her winter coat on a day of near record temperatures. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xyR1We5C3s

Green frogGreen frogYesterday around noon, a Green Frog showed me something I had never seen before. The lake was frozen except for a spot next to shore that was shallow open water. On shore, two feet from the water sat a small green frog unmoving and unblinking at a time when other green frogs are in cold, oxygen-rich water, absorbing oxygen through their skin. He was sitting in a lifelike position with unblinking eyes that I thought were surprisingly bright and lifelike for a frog that obviously had to be dead. I snapped a picture. I thought I saw a leg move slightly. I touched him. He was cold and firm but moist like he had not been there long. Then there was another slight movement as he hopped in the water. Was he up in the unusually warm air somehow getting extra oxygen through his skin? I couldn’t see that he was breathing through his nostrils. A puzzle.

Pine martenPine martenYesterday started with a visit from the pine marten (photo), and this evening ended with the same. In between were a couple surprises. Yesterday, on the third floor, as I stood behind the sliding glass door, the marten appeared just outside with a dead flying squirrel in its mouth. I eased away and went out on the second floor deck to get a picture of the marten carrying the squirrel as it came down the steps. He, or more likely SHE considering her size, didn’t show. I looked up the stairs to the third floor deck. There she was looking at me. She snatched up the squirrel and bolted. I went up and discovered that she has dug a hole into the soffit that extends down next to that upper deck. Unbelievably, when I opened the sliding door up there today, I heard noises in the soffit. The marten popped out—this time carrying a red squirrel. The next part is embarrassing. As I stood motionless in the open doorway, the marten stopped three feet from me, looking around and sniffing with the squirrel still in its mouth. The marten never looked up at my head six feet above it. She then dropped the squirrel and sniffed my sock carefully. I moved a toe. The marten quickly grabbed the squirrel and leaped up into her refuge hole in the soffit. This evening, she ended the day by stirring panic among the squirrels outside my window. The last I saw of her was when she ducked under the second floor deck where she could catch a squirrel if one ran under there.

Also today, I saw a mink walking away from the cabin area and wondered if it was one from last year. I hope so.

Thank you for all you do.
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center

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