[Tweeters] Osprey, Salamanders, and a Mystery

Lee Rentz lee at leerentz.com
Sat Mar 30 19:24:23 PDT 2013

The first Osprey of the year landed on the ragged old Bigleaf Maple in front of our house, with a brightly iridescent trout about 15" long. It took a long time to subdue the wriggling fish, and finally the Osprey took off again to find a better place to feed, with the big trout clutched below and head oriented forward, looking like a 747 carrying a space shuttle (with the cargo on the bottom instead of the top). A nice way for the Osprey and us to celebrate this beautiful day.

We've been mucking around in the gardens over the last month, and found three different species of salamanders hidden away under logs and decaying wood.

Today, Karen was getting ready to clip off some of the old fronds of the native Sword Ferns, and she found feeding areas within half a dozen, where a mammal had sat eating parts of the ferns. We had noticed that scores of ferns had been clipped off neatly at the base, leaving the whole frond laying on the ground. Well, within these little cavities at the bases of the Sword Ferns, something had been feeding; we think it was eating the tough stem of the fronds, and leaving a neat pile of uneaten leaflets–hundreds of them in each pile. We are wondering if it could have possibly been a Mountain Beaver, since they have an extraordinary fondness for ferns. Tonight we set up an infrared camera to see if we can see anything more.

Lee Rentz
lee at leerentz.com
Shelton, WA

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