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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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This video:


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This is the Eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus).

This one thinks it owns the place.


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I went to feed the ducks this afternoon, and one duck was missing.

It was the wild mallard hen, and when she didn’t show up, I had my suspicions.

The oldest hen in the flock is most likely the first to go broody.

But I also knew mallards are notoriously good at hiding their nests, so I didn’t know where she could have gone.

So I waited a bit while the others ate their mash, and about five minutes into the repast, I saw a form slinking down from the outbuilding about 30 yards away.

Other than Ivan, she is the biggest duck in the flock and has always been a greed hound when it comes to food.

I knew she couldn’t pass it up. She slinked on down to the pond, and I sneaked up and looked for her nest.

I found  it between a bit of fencing and the outbuilding.


So let there be ducklings!



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talking points

This came from an evil crossbreeder.

The AKC’s now recognizes that its biggest threat are the intentionally bred crossbreeds, which are, unfortunately, called “designer dogs.”

Are these crosses being mass produced on puppy farms? Yes.

Are breeder making fantastic claims about them? Yes.

Are they inherently evil because they are crossbred? No.

Crossbreeding dogs is not inherently unethical, but it comes up against a fundamentalist religion in dogs. This is the religion of the fancy, which has as its number one command “Thou shalt not cross breeds. Breeds are like species.”

The AKC is very much threatened by these crosses, which are taking away a huge share of the market for them.

The American people have never really believed that these multi-breed registries really represent our values as country. And now that we are the only industrialized nation outside of South Africa, South Korea, and Japan with a non-Caucasian head of state (who was elected with majorities both times), I don’t think the average American accept the tenants of blood purity for people or for dogs.

People are questioning many things that were once believed to be true:

Should marijuana be illegal like cocaine and heroin?

Should marriage be allowed between people of the same sex?

Should women be paid equal to men?

These questions are running rampant in the body politic right now, and I can tell you it wasn’t so long ago–ten years to be precisely– that these issues were not discussed at all.

Now they are.

And if we’re questioning these values, it’s not really hard to see that Americans are question something as silly and oddly foreign as the institutionalized dog fancy.

These institutions were not created for a country with very strong democratic institutions. They were created largely by Tory elitists in England and then grafted onto the United States, which has never accepted truly accepted the dog fancy as most of Europe has. I don’t think such an institution could last long in a country that elected a Barack Obama.

The United States doesn’t have the strongest democratic institutions in the world, but it has always had a very strong egalitarian spirit that sometimes comes bubbling up when people least expect it. One of the great paradoxes of this country is that even though we have a lot of inequality, we are somewhat embarrassed by it, which is probably why we don’t talk about it very much.

The dog fancy that the AKC works for is not an egalitarian organization at all. It is openly elitist. At the major dog shows, the dogs that tend to win are those that are professionally handled, which means that their owners are rich enough to hire someone to show their dogs for them. How many breeder-owner-handlers do you see when Westminster is on television?

So the AKC is now reduced to talking points on “designer dogs”  in much the same way anti-gay activists are on the issue of marriage equality.

The American people are rejecting the product the AKC is selling– not only because it is elitist and caught up in a faith-based position on blood purity– but because the dogs it is producing aren’t what people actually want.

People love Labradors.

But they also like Benji.

And they would like it if their Labradors didn’t shed so much.

Wait, there is a Benji-type Labrador cross that doesn’t shed as much as a pure Labrador?

Where do I get this amazing creature?!

Not the AKC, I can tell you that!

And that is why the AKC is in panic mode.

Now, I’m not a big fan of the doodles myself. The big reason is that I really don’t like the poodle coat, and as someone who keeps clean-shaven, I am not a big fan of beards.

If we were going to cross a Labrador with something, why not a golden retriever or a Chesapeake?

But one thing that that these doodles and other intentionally-bred crosses have done is that they have caused people to question the blood purity religion.

And yes, there are charlatans breeding doodles left and right.

But you really don’t have room to criticize these people when you keep bulldogs and Neapolitan mastiffs in your registry, and many of those dogs are being bred by absolute moonbats of the worst order.

A registry that would celebrate the rolling cushion of a dog known as the pekingese as the epitome of canine soundness has very little moral authority indeed.

The problems with all the “designer dogs” certainly do need to be corrected.

But I don’t reject them outright.

To reject them outright is to deny innovation in dogs. It is to accept on faith alone that blood purity is a virtue that must never be compromised.

And I don’t accept it.

I don’t think anyone with even a high school understanding of population genetics ever could– but you’d be surprised.

This is the big religion in dogs, and now it’s under assault.

It may be for very superficial reasons, but it is under assault.

And the AKC is totally caught flat-footed.

Talking points aren’t going to save it, and I must confess I’ve heard them all before.

They all amount to a dog fancy equivalent of a Gish Gallop, including misrepresenting a study on whether purebred dogs are healthier than mixes. (See Christopher Landauer’s (Border Wars) attack on this misrepresentation in the comments!).

The dog fancy is on its knees.

A country that now wants marijuana legalized is fine with Labradoodles.

And the AKC cannot handle it.

Don't hate me because I'm crossbred.

Don’t hate me because I’m crossbred.

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More grouse tracks

This one is just hanging out in this little patch of woods.


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