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Chas Clifton

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Mouse War: We're Kicking It Up a Notch
Photo credit Elizabeth Wolber, U. of North Carolina This has been a yuge rodent year, deer mice ( Peromyscus spp.) in particular. Some friends who live in a similar foothills ecosystem visited last week, and they agreed. One said that her mother, who lives ...
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Chas Clifton

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You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive – Or with All Ten Fingers
I like to use scout cameras, although I am not as adept as the Codger. Some of my cameras have simply died, a couple were mauled by bears , and one was stolen. But I have never had one explode. This summer, exploding booby-trap (or as we say now, IED ) came...
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Where Are These Foxes When I Need Them?
It has been a major rodent year, building on 2015. First, the rabbits. For years we hardly saw a rabbit or a rabbit track, and when we did, M. and I would comment on the sighting to each other. Now I see cottontails frequently in the woods. One hopped acros...
It has been a major rodent year, building on 2015. First, the rabbits. For years we hardly saw a rabbit or a rabbit track, and when we did, M. and I would comment on the sighting to each other. Now I see cottontails frequently in the woods. One hopped across the driveway this morning.
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A Singles Bar for Beavers
Orphan beaver kit in July  2016 (Courtesy Wet Mountain Wildlife). Beavers normally live in family groups, "colonies that may contain 2 to 12 individuals. The
colony is usually made up of the adult breeding pair, the kits of the
year, and kits of the p...
Beavers normally live in family groups, "colonies that may contain 2 to 12 individuals. The colony is usually made up of the adult breeding pair, the kits of the year, and kits of the previous year or years" (Source here). You can't just drop a strange beaver in and expect it to be accepted.
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Rattlesnake, You Can't Go Home Again. Or Can You?
When I relocated the rattlesnake last Saturday after it alarmed the guests in the cabin, the wife asked me, "It won't come back, will it?" "No," I said, "It won't." But what did I know? Especially when a day or two later, when M. was walking our dog on the ...
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Skis versus Snowshoes, Neolithic Style
I tend to think of skis as a Eurasian invention, while I associate snowshoes with North America. Well, I am wrong.  Proto-Italians worked out the "bearpaw" design more than 5,000 years ago. Here is an older post about the "true" birthplace of skiing , but t...
I tend to think of skis as a Eurasian invention, while I associate snowshoes with North America. Well, I am wrong. Proto-Italians worked ...
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Chas Clifton

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Meet Timmy Woodhouse, the Segregated Scrub Jay
Timmy the scrub jay (Bureau of Land Management). Some years ago, M. and bought a parcel of land — about an acre — adjoining ours, because we were afraid someone would buy and build on it, and we wanted some space. The purchase strained our budget, so we cam...
Some years ago, M. and bought a parcel of land — about an acre — adjoining ours, because we were afraid someone would buy and build on it, and we wanted some space. The purchase strained our budget, so we came up with the idea of soliticiting donations for a bird refuge — "Mission: Scrub Jay.
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Why Mountain BIkes Don't Belong in WIlderness Areas
As its name suggests, the Wilderness Act of 1964 has been in effect for fifty years, long enough that most Americans have grown up with it. From a campfire-argument point of view, I could say that our culture is weird if we have to draw lines around a small...
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Chas Clifton

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Rattlesnake, You Can't Go Home Again. Or Can You?
When I relocated the rattlesnake last Saturday after it alarmed the guests in the cabin, the wife of the couple staying there asked me, "It won't come back, will it?" "No," I said, "It won't." But what did I know? Especially when a day or two later, when M....
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