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As I have noted several times on the blog, I have seen no convincing evidence that Dalmatians are from Croatia. Almost all the evidence I’ve seen points to them being unusual offshoots of the pointer/setter/HPR family.  At first, I thought Dalmatians were the creation of British nobles from the eighteenth century.

However, I’ve come across some interesting paintings by Frans Snyders,  Flemish painter from the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. These paintings show a dog that looks a lot like a Dalmatian.

snyders dogs fighting dalmatian

snynders boar hunt dalmatian

Now, one must be careful before jumping to conclusions about these dogs. After all the dog below the “Dalmatian” in the second painting looks a lot like a golden retriever cross.

So maybe Dalmatians were derived from pointer-type dogs that got used to hunt big game in the Low Countries. This part of the world was dominated by Spanish Empire for a time, and it would have made sense that Spanish pointing-type dogs would have made an appearance there.

Seeing as virtually every strain of continental pointer is used to do boar hunting, it would make sense that this Flemish breed would have a similar use.

So maybe these dogs are the first Dalmatians.

Who really knows?




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American lions exist!

LOL.  It’s amazing what optical illusions you can get on a trail camera!


american lion

By American lion, I’m referring to Panthera leo atrox, a New World offshoot of the cave lion that was found throughout the Americas during the Pleistocene.  It has been extinct since about 11,000 years ago.


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The trail camera info listed the temperature on this photos as -2 degrees Fahrenheit.

squirrel 1

squirrel 3

What you can get on a trail camera on a winter’s day.



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Virginia pine cone:





White pine cone:


Cottontail  rabbit tracks (Eastern, not Appalachian)








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Or attempting to. The mole got away.




This was most likely a hairy-tailed mole, which are the most common moles in this area.




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I made a little scent post for the trail camera a few days ago. I used red fox urine with a bit of coyote gland lure rubbed on the top.

Miley offed a gray squirrel the same day, so  was put near the post.

And a coyote did come by last night

I think it’s a small female, probably a darker gray one that the big dog coyote I’ve been getting on camera.

Eastern coyotes have wolf and domestic dog ancestry and vary quite a bit in appearance. The one from this summer is a bigger animal, probably pheomelanistic, clear sable.

This one is wolf-colored, but clearly lighter-frame. My guess is this is a bitch.


If you’re wondering why I removed the camera, last Sunday I was sitting on that rise where the coyote clearly reveals herself in the video.

My sister’s fiance wanted to go out coyote calling from my dad’s new tree stand. I got to play around with the e-caller when I got a response.

His iPhone managed to capture a bit of the cacophony:


The stand is pretty deep into the woods– maybe 50 yards or so.

I’m sitting on that rise in the old pasture at the edge of the woods.

About two minutes of howling go on, and I start to hear the brush cracking all around me.

There is nearly a full moon out, and it’s clear enough that I can see some things.

But not the thing that is crunching leaves 30 feet in front of me in the access road!

I hear a bark and then something retreating back.

I shine my flashlight into the darkness, and there is a wolfy coyote standing not more then 45 feet from me!

It’s not the one in the video, and it’s not the same one I’ve been getting on camera all summer.

It’s heavily sabled and stoutly built.

It stands there for about 30 seconds before slowly slinking back into the brush.

Yeah. I’m getting on them on camera now.

I’m getting hooked!





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Into the brooder

The little duck I found in the weeds didn’t do so well on the water. It wouldn’t forage and swim with the rest of the clutch. It probably didn’t imprint very well on its mother, because an egg was seen in the nest early yesterday after the others had moved to the pond. This morning there was no egg. 

That means that this one was a late hatcher.

My dad managed to catch the duck with a snow shovel on the pond, and it’s now in the brooder to recuperate.

It hasn’t eaten yet, but it’s no longer shivering.IMG_9697



We’ll see how it goes.



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