Critters in my garden

Discussion in 'How's It Growing?' started by Margot, Nov 20, 2020.

  1. pinenut

    pinenut Active Member 10 Years

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    WGI_0011 (another copy).JPG baby fox.JPG Bear 29may.JPG Coyote.JPG Lynx.JPG WGI_0088.JPG Bear 13July.jpg WGI_0038.JPG Here are a few mammals that we've caught on a game camera within a few yards of the house. The bears within a few feet.
     
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  2. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Do you see these creatures quite frequently, @pinenut ? You must never know what to expect when you open the door. Has a grizzly bear ever dropped by?
     
  3. pinenut

    pinenut Active Member 10 Years

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    Almost nightly. Less often in the daytime.
    Had a conversation once with a couple of river otters who paused in the process of consuming all the grayling in our creek. Beaver are pretty frequent, and incredibly destructive sometimes. I guess that depends on your point of view.
    Grizzlies? Fairly close, but not actually on the property. One year a grizzly killed a black bear on the hill above us, buried it as its food cache, so we altered our daily walks.
    One evening we heard an awful screaming coming from the creek. It sounded like a child was in serious trouble. We caught a fleeting glimpse of a pair of lynx or bobcats that must have been mating.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2021
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  4. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    What a fascinating place you live! Good that you're documenting what you see. My list of critters is much less impressive than yours but I don't know if I'd ever go out in the garden if I thought there was a good chance of encountering any of your 'neighbours'. There are cougars in our area but very seldom seen.
     
  5. pinenut

    pinenut Active Member 10 Years

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    To be honest, "garden" is stretching the definition in our case. The photos were all taken within 100 yards of the house. Our "garden" consists of a potato/onion/daikon patch, a greenhouse, and a covered cold frame about 100 yards away. And I don't (but should) have a trailcam on it. Out in the field are five-needle pines, four apples, sea buckthorn, some paper birches, some larches, and various berry bushes that I wouldn't say are thriving.
    The creek is a 150 yard rather steep walk into a small canyon, where I saw otter tracks in the snow yesterday.
     
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  6. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Hello @pinenut. After your mention of beavers, this article caught my eye: Beavers are living as far north as the Arctic, report finds I am sure you are well-aware of the concerns . . . "Beavers are known to dramatically change the landscapes they inhabit, as their dams can flood the surrounding landscape and severely alter the flow of water."
     
  7. pinenut

    pinenut Active Member 10 Years

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    Yup. They got that right!
     
  8. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I was blowing leaves in front of the house outside the gate here in Tucson this morning. The house and landscaped areas are all enclosed within tall fencing. The electric blower was loud and I was very focused on getting the leaves off the drive. I looked up and 3 metres ahead were around 10 javelina (collared peccary). They did not seem to notice me or the loud blower. I went inside the gate right away to watch them safely. When I went and got my camera, I could tell that they noticed me when I was upwind of them and started to scamper away. One big one came back to finish off a blue agave we had planted outside the fence. Apparently planting anything outside the fence will take some extreme protection to get anything established, even agave or cactus. They don't seem to bother the big stuff. They are kind of cute and fun to watch.
     

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  9. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Wow, Eric, this is definitely new landscape and critters. I've never heard of collared peccary, but I've heard of the animals that consider them prey (Collared peccary - Wikipedia). Things could be very interesting around there.
    No-one will be believe you're in Vancouver now anyway, but please change your forum Location setting.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2022
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  10. pmurphy

    pmurphy Contributor

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    Well my gardens are still very slow this year but my waterfall is attracting a lot more species of birds this year...and many of them in the past week.

    Dark-eyed junco
    Anna's hummingbird
    White-crowned sparrow
    Western tanager (male)
    Swainson's thrush
    Nashville warbler (apparently not common in this area)
    Yellow-rumped warbler
    Red-breasted nuthatch
    Wilson's warbler (male)
    Black-headed grosbeak (male)
    Yellow warbler

    April 23 STC_0025 - dark-eyed junco.JPG STC_0191 - anna's hummingbird.JPG STC_0234 - white crowned sparrow.JPG STC_0343 - western tanager male.JPG STC_0443 - swainson's thrush.JPG STC_0495 - nashville warbler.JPG STC_0838 - yellow rumped warbler.JPG STC_0949 - red-breasted nuthatch.JPG STC_1009 - wilson's warbler.JPG STC_1067 - black-headed grosbeak male.JPG STC_1456 - yellow warbler.JPG
     
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  11. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I love this group of photos, @pmurphy, particularly that the birds are so clear and are identified. And that I know all those names but I don't know any of those birds except the junco.

    Did you build the waterfall? Or is it part of the original terrain?
     
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  12. pmurphy

    pmurphy Contributor

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    Hi Wendy,
    This waterfall is on an old rock wall leading down into our backyard. We built a catch basin at the bottom and a small basin at the top that is covered by a large stone. Some of the stones on the surface of the wall were rearranged to create what I hoped would be a natural look. Next all the stones were then sealed using pond shield paint (2 part epoxy that is safe for fish and wildlife). And lastly we ran a heavy duty fountain pump (had to pump the water to a height of 2M) from the lower basin to the upper basin. I made sure to recycle any trees and limbs I had access to to make it more natural as well as using plants that would give it a tropical look (most of these are not seen by the trail cam) because we also built a covered deck at the base of the waterfall that gives us a very private and relaxing retreat from the neighbors and the sounds of Knight St.
    FYI, we had to repair a leak and repaint last year which is why the color is still bright, but its slowly taking on a more weathered look again.
     
  13. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    I think we can all agree that it looks pretty darned nice! And on Knight Street no less! Amazing.
     
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  14. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    There have been several black bear sightings in my neighbourhood lately but I have seen nothing - until a couple of days ago that is.

    What I found was, I think, evidence that a black bear may have found a thatching ant nest on my property and either went into it for food or slept in it. I suspect the latter.

    There are currently two large thatching ant nest which I keep an interested eye on. (At time, the whole surface of the hills shimmer with hundreds of them.)

    Until recently both looked like the one on the left but the one on the right now has a crater instead of a dome on top. What do you think?

    Thatching ant nest.JPG Thatching ant nest caved in.JPG
     

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