Ok. Here we go again. The cooler weather of late has gotten me all worked up. But I think this time it might be for real.
Ok. Here we go again. The cooler weather of late has gotten me all worked up. But I think this time it might be for real. So, with that in mind let’s make a little tour around the topics I have in mind this week. We are going to be all over the place this week, so I hope I can get it all in.
Let’s start with the grizzly bear. And I will have to admit that this is great news. You night recall a few of my stories about the delisting of the grizzly off the endangered list. It was at that point that the states with a grizzly population in lower 48 (Montana, Wyoming, Idaho) were handed the management of their own bears. With that in mind they all determined they would offer a hunting season for the bears this year (except Montana who opted out of a season for this year).
The season had been set for Sept. 1 with a total of 23 bears to possibly be killed, mostly from Wyoming (22). But just two days before that season was to begin a judge stopped the hunt to look into the matter further. The stoppage would last at least 14 days during the investigation into the matter.
It lasted just a bit longer but earlier this week a judge stopped the hunt all together citing that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service basically acted too quickly in taking the bears off the list. The judge put the bears back on the Endangered Species list again. The hunt is over, at least for this year. It is possible that this scenario could play out again next year and the entire scene repeated.
Do I think it is a good thing? Yes, I do. We do not have enough bears to warrant a season. All the bears are in and around the Yellowstone ecosystem and not spread throughout the states. That just shows you how little habitat the bears have left, which is one of the concerns.
Grizzly bears take a long time to recover; even a loss of just a few bears is difficult for the species. If they bred like whitetail deer than the species could recover at a faster rate, giving rise to a possible hunting season. If all that played out accordingly than I would not have a problem with a small hunting season.
But when an animal has been reduced to just a small chunk of land as their habitat dwindles, valuable food sources shrinking along with that, I cannot see how enlisting a hunting season could be a good thing.
If you think we have heard the last of this, you are wrong. It will come up again (and I believe it already has, with bill put out there to get them off the list again). But for now, the bears are safe.
I tossed in a photo this week of a close-up of the Great Egret that you saw last week with its head plunged into the water. It seems the last few fall seasons have given me a number of these close-up shots. I can go all season and never get close to an egret but when the weather cools they seem to let lose a bit of their skittishness. This particular one came in at about 15 yards or so and just went about its business of feeding in the shallow water of the lake.
Finally spotted a few Coots the other day. Another sign that fall is here and winter around the corner. Each day now we will begin seeing more and more coots and then one day they will be all gone, and winter will be here.
Speaking of waterfowl. Did I mention this last week? I watched someone a few days ago feeding cereal to the geese at Lakeland despite the signs stating “NOT” to feed the waterfowl. The signs were put there on behalf of the waterfowl. Feeding them our leftover baked and breakfast goods is doing nothing but harming them. This stuff is not natural and does more harm in the long run. Bread, cereal, popcorn and whatever else is left out there offers no nutritional value to the waterfowl. You’re doing nothing but killing them slowly. Please heed the signs.
Have any chipmunks in your yard? If you do you need to take a little time and watch them. I have several in my yard and this last week has been a frenzy as they get ready for winter. These little guys go at it all day long as they gather food to take back to their food caches in their burrows. You can watch one shoot right by you and then return shortly with its cheek pouches crammed full of winter nutrition. Fun to watch.
Monarch migration is in full swing. What a colorful sight to see them in flight or sitting on the yellow blossoms of Goldenrod. (Pictured)
Hawk migration also underway. I’m still looking for the massive flights overhead.
Ospreys are in the area as well. Take a drive to Lakeland and you might see one hunting the big lake. What a sight to see them dive into the water and come up with a fish. Did that recently and will post a photo next week.
The scene is changing so please get out there and enjoy.