Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Something Has Changed

There is a reason the gray foxes don't wait in the parking lot for their hot dogs like they have for years and now sit up by the mud huts and wait for me to come out before they then run down the hill to feed. There is a reason why instead of getting roving bands of raccoons all night I now only get a few and they are the largest ones. There is a reason after only two nights the family of raccoons that moved into the crawlspace have left. There is a reason the ringtails collect their hot dogs and then run across the roof instead of hanging in the porch rafters as they always have. They are probably all the same reason. What is a raccoon scared of, what makes a fox think something can catch it, what would kill raccoon babies, and what is agile enough to threaten a ringtail in the rafters? I'm hoping over the next few nights Go Pro can help me find answers. But it wasn't tonight.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Where are the Big Horn?

I've seen no fresh tracks at Last Hurrah and there weren't any at the Wind Caves or on the road to Chicken Corner. So, it's Jackson Hole time to see if they climbed up Jackson Ladder to the Amasa Back. Not finding any tracks at Jackson Ladder I travel around to the other side of Jackson Butte and there are large numbers of big horn tracks all leading up to and inside Jackson Butte.

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Journey to Chicken Corner

Go Pro and YouTube

For quite awhile now whenever I post a GoPro video on YouTube it's off centered to the right side of the screen as is the arrow. I haven't been able to find a way to fix that. If somebody knows please tell me.

Until that happens if you want the video centered, it's better to click on the video title and that will center it.


Little People Stuff

Probably it doesn't seem like much is going on unless you've been here a long time and can sense things. The foxes are coming down to get their hot dogs and then retreating up the hill to the hogans and watching from there. They don't hang in the parking lot like they use to. Something has them spooked around the lodge. The song birds are under attack almost constantly.

When the Pinon Jays come to the feeding areas to eat all the songbirds have been scared and retreat into the bush. They are about half as large again as the songbirds but I figured in time they'd get use to them just like they did the Eurasian Collard Doves when they showed up. Because underneath they look much like a hawk coming in to land everybody ran. In time the Eurasian doves would land ten feet from the feeding area and walk over. Everybody figured it out.

A couple days ago I saw a Pinon Jay land in the feeding area, twice strike a songbird in the head with it's beak. The songbird fell dead and as it turned out it was the Loggerhead Shrike (Butcher) who is about the same size and almost same color. The Butcher reached down snatched up the dead songbird and flew off. I was inside looking out the office window thinking it was a Pinon Jay until death struck.

There is a small sharp shinned that comes in low over the hill and is on site before anyone has time to do anything. Because so many vehicles have pulled up to the front of the lodge across the parking lot and each pulls further and further up the hill they've crushed the bushes that were there and both the Butcher and Sharp-shinned can get into the bushes to attack the songbirds. Until I find a solution I'm feeding right up against the bush or inside the bush. Four or five times a day a large hawk, I haven't gotten close enough to see what kind flies right over the feeding areas and then dives down trying to pick off a songbird. Today coming back from Last Hurrah I saw it's profile on a rock as the sun set and I walked up the hill to chase it off. It flew across the river and landed at it's nesting place at Caveman Ranch or Tangri La, whatever it's current name is. So the hawk lives almost right here.

There are three ringtail every night in the rafters and I hear them go under the lodge when they are done eating. I can hear them in the insulation in the crawl space. At least two skunks are waiting for me each evening for food blow the porch and they also live under the lodge. For the first time ever a family of raccoons has found a home right under my bathroom. I'm good with the ringtail and skunk but the raccoon are going to be an issue at some point. Though I think I'm down to just one family that shows up each night and I assume it's the one under the porch.

It use to be the raccoons would eat both their bowls of Kit&Kaboodle and then head out into Kobae's pen and eat the foxes food also. Now it's the opposite. With few raccoons the foxes have found their courage and are constantly raiding the raccoon food bowls. I hear them eating outside my window all night and their crunch is lighter than the raccoon crunch.

I have not seen deer or big horn in over a week since the mountain lion was here. Everyone else has returned though so I assume the mountain lion is gone so once Jax returns and I start hiking again I expect to find another set of deer or big horn remains out there somewhere. She always takes one and then goes back up on top of the Anti-Cline.

There's still not a solid leader of the foxes but somebody is trying. Each evening when I go put the fox food out and bring the empty bowl back somebody has peed in it.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

I Met Somebody Today

It's been eight days since I've seen anybody other than going to town last week to get propane, firewood, and groceries. I'm catching up with stuff to do at the lodge so finally I was able to get away for an hour or so taking the trials bike up to Hurrah Pass.

Sunday, December 2, 2018