Birds · Mammals

Nature’s Calling

DSC_2177 bear scat

While we are on the subject of nature calling and all the agonizing that we humans have done trying to decide how and were, I will have you know that the critters we share our property with treat the whole place like one large public latrine!

We have found piles all over and on one occasion I filled two buckets full of goose poop because the whole area between the cottage and the lake was just covered.  It is hard to be mad at them though when you look out of the window and see a new little family hiking across to the lake.


DSC_2946 geese

I am blaming the geese on two buckets worth of materials that I gathered, but we have also had visits from other large birds, like wild turkeys and I am not sure that I can tell their gifts apart.

DSC_7168 wild turkey

Wild turkeys seem to be very camera shy.  I was surprised when I looked out of the window one day to see one running past the cottage.  I wasn’t quick enough to get anything other than a blurred image of the moment, but it felt like an achievement to have actually captured one with my camera after so many failed attempts.  We sometimes see them on the back roads near the cottage, but if we stop the car they head into the forest before I have any chance of taking their photograph.  It was impressive to see one so close from the cottage window and appreciate just how large these birds actually are.

I am ashamed to say that my fascination with who is leaving their calling cards has prompted me to photograph it at times, so that I have a reference to try and identify who left the latest offering.

One animal we have not seen is a bear.  We think we have had several calling cards (see featured image), but being an amateur in scat identification, I can’t be certain.  It was certainly large and seems to look like some of the photographs posted on-line.

One that had us puzzled for a few weeks was otter.


We kept finding piles of it on the steps going down to the dock.  We cleaned it away and the next day we found more.  Finally we had the delight of watching five otters playing in the lake together.

DSC_7144 otters

I was far away, so the picture is poor, but clear enough to identify that our new visitors were otters.  It was such a joy to watch them, even if it was at a distance.  It inspired us to buy a better quality pair of binoculars in the hope that there will be another occasion, although for now they seem to be canvasing a different area.

One animal that oddly doesn’t like to leave a deposit is our dog, Maggie.  Maggie refuses to use our backyard to do her business and has us conditioned to take her for two walks a day, so that she doesn’t have to befoul “her” property.  It seems that she is unable to perform without being attached to a leash!  There we are with two acres of land that every other animal considers a perfectly functional outhouse, but we have to put Maggie on her leash and walk her up to the road and back again before she will perform… and if we don’t we have a very uncomfortable dog by the end of the weekend!


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