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Archive for October, 2012

Like treeing squirrel weasels!

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Bite my ass

Bulldogs attacking a donkey, circa 1840:

Donkey baiting was something that was occasionally done to spice things up.  Donkeys instinctively hate dogs, and even though they can be trained to become accustomed to them, their default behavior when they see a dog is to attack.

Let’s hope this isn’t an allegory for next Tuesday!

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Portrait of Miley

Alert.

“Melting” golden retriever expression.

 

 

 

 

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Gray muzzle

Miley is starting to get some gray around her muzzle. The gray is really white. Because she’s relatively light in color, it’s hard to see.

 

But it’s much more obvious when she rests her head on my lap.

She’s getting white hair around her eyes.

She’s only four, but golden retriever prematurely gray. It’s one of their charms :).

For comparison, here’s her photo at age two.

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Attracting a Canada lynx

This is a really good video about someone attracting a Canada lynx to the back of a cabin.

Source.

This is my favorite species of wild cat.

I think they are so beautiful with their gray pelts and tufted ears.

They have a sort of profound elegance one does not see in the bobcat.

It’s a frosty, steely presence that is hard to describe.

It’s the cat of the Great White North.

Gray as the boreal forest in January, it is the slayer of snowshoe hares.

Its wagon is attached to the hare’s wagon, and should the hare population crash, the lynx population soon follows.

But it will scavenge and even eat the flesh of its own kind.

It is only through this way that it’s been able to survive in the subarctic forests, where no other cats live or even dare to tread.

It is not beyond its nature for humans to be able to attract them with bits of meat.

I bet some old trappers and mountain men once dreamed of being able to tame them.

But we never have.

They come for the hand-outs, and then they melt back into the forest– wild phantoms whose world we can never fully understand.

 

 

 

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Lynx dogs

From Harper’s Young People (1880):

The large and powerful dogs which are found in Canada and the northern portions of Michigan, Minnesota, and other border States, where they are used as train dogs to drag the mail sledges over vast wastes of snow during the winter, are natural enemies of the lynx, and pursue it furiously through the snow-bound forests. Their loud barking often warns the hunter before he himself catches sight of the game that the desired prize is treed, and awaits its fate, with arched back and fur bristling, after the manner of an enraged cat.

The dogs depicted treeing this lynx are most likely of the farm shepherd- or farm collie-type.

These were dogs that were used for many different purposes– driving sheep and cattle, guarding the farms and homesteads, and hunting various game species.

It would make sense that someone with sheep would use dogs of this type to hunt a supposed predator of the stock.

I don’t know how often they would have attacked sheep.

My guess is not much. This animal prefers to live on snowshoe hares, and although it will hunt other things, if it has ample snowshoe hare populations, it won’t try to hunt much else.

These animals most likely became rare in the Lower 48 because of unregulated trapping for their fur. Note that I said unregulated trapping, for the Canadians and Alaskans have not made the lynx rare through their regulated trapping regimes.

In some parts of Canada, these animals aren’t just trapped and hunted for their fur. They are also taken for their meat, which is said to be quite good.

I’d like to try it.

It’s basically eating a big gray pussy cat, but it’s said to be a quite nice, lean meat.

But then you’re eating a cat, which some people erroneously think is going extinct. It’s endangered only in the Lower 48, not Alaska or Canada.

But because people just don’t know, you’re evil if you even suggest it.

But many a North Woods trapper or hunter has relied upon lynx meat to sustain him and his family through the long winter.

 

 

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In West Virginia, Hurricane Sandy brought us some snow. I know those people on the coast have had a much worse experience.

Snow is pretty benign when compared to sea flooding and high winds. Lots of people in West Virginia are without power right now. And the damage elsewhere is just now being tabulated.

But anyway, here are some photos of the snow:

 

 

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