Sunday, November 10, 2013

Michigan 101: The Little Deers and Other Critters

Since living in West Michigan we have seen a lot of animals in our yards. Even living in the 'village' deer run through the yard and fox and owl can be heard at night.

When we lived in a newly built house in the woods every spring Mama Deer had two fawn. Mama would come around the house every day, just like she had for years before the house was there. The brazen fawn is below. Mama and the twin stayed in the woods.

Other critters in the yard included a Box Turtle, who migrated from the woods to the sand to lay her eggs, and a Wood Frog who lived in a hole in our fence one summer. I could not find our frog, so I am sharing my brother's.

Tom Turkey and his family came through regularly, eating the acorns from the oak trees.

Later we lived in a house near farmed land and an open field. We had lots of amphibians.

Mud Puppies are pretty yucky looking!

And with the amphibians came the Sandhill Cranes.

My brother took this photo of a Sandhill Crane.

My brother's cabin has a nice spring feed pond that hosts salamanders.

And also attracts lots of frogs.

My brother has the ability to sneak up on animals. He gets great shots. Photographic that is.  Like the racoon below who did not notice my brother for the longest time.

'Peekaboo' Beaver above and Possum below!

Great Blue Heron above and Trumpeter Swan to the left. We had hundreds of Swan in Montague's White River.

And we have snakes. Lots of Hognose in the sandy areas around Lake Michigan. We once found a Milk Snake in our son's sandbox. Thankfully I never saw a Massasauga Rattlesnake!

My brother has a motion camera and a salt lick and gets pics of the night life at his cabin, like this coyote.

Plus Michigan has Loon, Pileated Woodpecker, Redheaded Woodpecker, Flickers, and ducks and geese and gulls... And Bald Eagle have lived near most of our houses in the last ten years. Black bear have been seen in our area here. Bobcat sightings have occurred around the state.  And the Wolves are returning Up North.

I was shocked to hear that in Oakland County north of Detroit the deer have been running into the roads and making a mess of rush hour traffic! Coyote were seen in Woldumar Nature Center just outside of Lansing. And Peregrine Falcon live in the city park in Clawson, MI.

It is wonderful that animals who lost their natural habitat are returning to many places in the state. But I don't think the Plains Buffalo will be seen in Coldwater, New Buffalo, or anywhere else along the southern tier where they originally roamed. Except in the Buffalo ranches!

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