Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Wild Kingdom

As I was driving from Rockport to Gloucester early this evening (Upper Main near the vernal pools for locals), an animal darted across the road in front of me. It looked like it was about three feet long, weasel-like, with dark brown to black lush fur. It was my first visual sighting of the seldom-seen fisher cat. I had been warned about how dangerous they are to small pets when I first moved here; Leslie calls them "teddy bears with fangs." People wonder how many of the cat disappearances that have been attributed to coyotes are actually due to the fisher cat.
Mass Wildlife has an informative article about the fisher. It emphasizes how secretive and solitary they are, so I feel lucky to have seen one, especially in a situation where I didn't have to protect a pet.


Midnight, a couple of nights ago, I was out with Joon for her last pee of the evening. I heard a big splash from the cove, the kind of splash that was not a wave. I looked over to see the light at the top of a sailboat mast beyond the lobster restaurant, and realized I had also been hearing the tling-tling of nautical hardware. Another splash ensued, and I realized the night divers were back.

Just then, a bone-chilling sound came from the ridge over the marsh behind the house. "AWOOOOOO-yip, yip yip!" Coyote. Suddenly, I was transported from the New England coast to the New Mexico desert. As Joon and I hustled into the house, it came again, closer, "AWOOOOOO-yip, yip yip!"

- Maureen

Edited to add:

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

Happy 4th! Today is a good day to read the Declaration of Independence again.
I'd like to dedicate today's blog to all the Signers of the Declaration. These men risked everything. As Benjamin Franklin said to his fellow signers, "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."
One of the signers from New York, General William Floyd, was the head of a wealthy family on Long Island. They lost their home and lands in the Revolution when the property was taken by the British and Floyd was serving in the Continental Congress. After the war, when Floyds returned to Long Island, they found that the redcoats had pretty much had trashed the house and land. After Floyd served in the first U.S. Congress, he bought land in the wilds around the present-day Rome, NY (my hometown) and moved to Westernville near Rome to start a farm there. He is buried in Westernville, just a few miles from where I grew up. So here's to General Floyd - huzzah!
P.S. General Floyd was still alive when the first shovel was turned to begin the digging of the Erie Canal at Rome on July 4, 1817.