Thursday, August 17, 2017

Batty McFly

For the third time this month we've entertained a bat visitor, in our living space. We're not sure how they are getting in, but it's an old house and most likely they are living in the attic and squeezing through some tiny hole into the living room. I like bats. I think they are cute - look at Batty McFly's hilariously fierce little face! In actuality he is not trying to intimidate, he was making those echolocation squeaks that bats use to get around.

I did a little reading and discovered that McFly is probably a Big Brown Bat, as opposed to a Little Brown Bat. "Big" is a relative term, and he (she?) was not at all a large animal. Both kinds are found in Maine. Big Brown Bats have longer fur and are more likely to be living in barns and attics.
Big Brown Bats are born in June, and the ones we are finding may well be the young of year, attempting to venture outside for the first time. Bad luck for them that they find themselves in the House of Many Cats, although none has been killed yet.
I captured McFly (and our earlier visitors) by putting on my work gloves ( I doubt they would bite but why take the chance?) and placing a wastepaper basket over them, then closing up the end with a bit of cardboard, and bring the lot outside. McFly seems tuckered out, because he didn't fly away right off the...bat, but hung out πŸ˜„for a while - long enough for me to snap this photo.

Like Little Brown Bats, Big Brown Bats can be infected with White Nose Syndrome, although their populations are not crashing like their smaller cousins.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Loon Chicks, Toddy Pond

Totes adorable, right? I snagged the photos from Avian Haven's Facebook page.
Avian Haven is a bird rescue and rehabilitation organization in Freedom, Maine. They have extensive facilities, including compounds for owls, other raptors, and aquatic birds, including a dedicated indoor pool for loon rehabilitation.

Though these guys were born on Toddy Pond, their next stop is the ocean, as loons typically spend their first two years as marine birds, before returning to their fresh water origin point to nest and raise chicks of their own.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Upta Camp: Welcome to the Wigwams

Nothing is more relaxing than a weekend upta camp. We've just come back from The Wigwams, a camp belonging to the Downeast Salmon Federation.

Located on Lower Wigwam Falls (hence the name) on the Machias River, the Wigwams is as close as you'll get to glamping anywhere Downeast. It boasts a gas stove & lights, and a screened porch where you can sit in comfort and watch the river go by.

Though quite out of the way - one drives through miles of blueberry barrens to reach it - the Wigwams is accessible by truck. (I wouldn't try that road in any vehicle without a pretty high undercarriage.) Just below the falls is flat water - you can put in a canoe & paddle downriver and then easily back upriver.

It's a 3-season camp, as it has a wood furnace for comfy nights even in cool weather.

Though the Wigwams was originally a salmon camp, located where the Passamaquoddy had historically placed a dwelling to take advantage of the fine salmon fishing, there are, sadly, very few salmon in the Machias River these days. The Downeast Salmon Federation is working on that!

If you'd like to stay in the Wigwams, you can do so for a small donation to DSF, who also owns two other cabins in the region. Those are more rustic, and I haven't been there yet. Wigwams, though? Fantastic. Rustic, peaceful, but easy and clean and convenient. Camping for people who aren't into camping. πŸ™‚