The Lazy Naturalist

My recent post, The Cry of the Sapsucker, consisted mainly of photos taken while drinking coffee in my blind, which is cleverly diguised as a house. Mike, who keeps the blog Mike’s Gone Fishin’…Again, commented that he, too, has a blind cleverly disguised as a house. Click that link. You’ll see that Mike does a lot more than take pictures out the window. The link to Mike’s Gone Fishin’…Again is a keeper.

Another friend, who lives in New Hampshire, almost all the way to Maine, sent a series of photos taken from his house of a bobcat he saw the other day.

New Hampshire Bobcat

It’s always a treat to look out the window and see something like that, and it’s great that the internet makes it so easy to share the things we see. I know it is appreciated by others because they leave comments, like the one on my post The Cry of the Sapsuckercalling it some “lazy-ass nature reporting”.

That comment came from Marc Fauvet, who keeps the blog the limp cobra (because fly lines are like wild snakes that need to be tamed …). Marc lives in Sweden, but that’s okay. His blog is beautiful, and a lot of fun. His “lazy-ass” nature reporting comment got me to thinking and, you know, Marc might be right. Maybe my pictures of a bluejay being disemboweled on the lawn were kind of lazy-ass.

Well, “kind of” ain’t good enough. We’re taking lazy-ass nature reporting to the next level by bringing you the first set of photos from our brand new concept, “Pictures Taken While I Slept”.

It’s a fisher (Martes pennanti), relative of the skunk, weasel, and wolverine, also known as a pekan, wejak, and fisher cat, although it is not a feline. Once exterminated in Vermont for their fur, they were brought back using transplants from Maine, when the state realized it was going broke paying bounties on destructive porcupines, which thrived in the fisher’s absence. Fishers prey on porcupines by chasing one up a tree and working it out onto branches too weak to hold. The porcupine falls to the ground, where it is at least stunned, and the fisher has an easy meal. It is also said that a fisher will attack a porcupine about the face until it is too weak to resist and the fisher can flip it onto its back, avoiding a mouthful of quills by going through the belly.

I have seen a fisher twice in five years.

At close to three feet long, this one is most likely a male, and could weigh as much as 20 pounds. A ferocious predator, attacking porcupines and chasing down hares, fishers are also opportunistic and the mice feeding in last fall’s compost seem to be the attraction here.

Five years of actively looking brought two sightings of a fisher; two nights with my new scouting camera and I’ve got half an hour’s worth of photos.

“Pictures Taken While I Slept,

bringing you the laziest-ass nature reporting available!”

Categories: nature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “The Lazy Naturalist

  1. Some of us are just plain lucky to live in places where nature comes to us instead of us having to go in search of nature.

    They’re just jealous.

    I do like that night camera though, right up my alley. Is that on a timer or motion tripped. I think I can set mine up on a timer. We can start an organization around this.

  2. Lazy-ass nature reporting!? I resemble that remark!

    Thanks for the pointer, Quill. I appreciate it.

  3. When fishing or simply out enjoying nature I’ve found that when I try to get a good picture of an animal I spend too much time on the camera and lose most of the glimpse I was lucky enough to get in the first place. The game camera lets me see what probably saw me first.

  4. Great post. Love seeing those night time pictures.

  5. Fisher cats were “brought back using transplants from Maine”

    I think it’s great of the state of Vermont to employ the Maine transplants to do those jobs, like hauling fisher cats across state lines, that the Vermonters aren’t willing to do themselves. I had been told that the New England states aren’t terribly welcoming of transplants, but it seems this just isn’t true. They just expect them – reasonably, I think – to work like everybody else.

    • It seems that folks from CT and MA were just not up to the task of lugging bags of fishers all the way across New Hampshire, so the job was hired out to a bunch of Mainers, who worked cheap. Most didn’t stay very long, though, due to the language barrier.

      • Ms. Hetty Mae

        “It seems that folks from CT and MA were just not up to the task of lugging bags of fishers all the way across New Hampshire,”


        (I am stuck in bed with a cold today and have nothing better to do than read your archives. Be prepared for continuing snide remarks, unless I can be persuaded to go work on my own blog.)

  6. I’m pretty sure that’s not a fisher. I’m thinking what you have yourself there is a Great Northern Honey-Badger. And no, he don’t care. 🙂

  7. Fishers were actually originally native here in Pennsylvania too, and in the late 1980’s the PA Game Commission reintroduced them, but I have no idea where the original stock was obtained. The closet place to our family cabin in Tioga County that I was aware they were planted was over around Slate Run in the Big Pine Creek Valley, some 20 miles or so as the crow flies distant. Within a few years after that, on the first day of deer season, I saw this animal and wondered, “What the heck?” Scoped it out and it was a fisher. Then a couple days later I saw another one, different animal because it had a lighter brownish-gray patch on its pack. And since then I’ve seen two others, one came up to me in the woods, within 25 feet as I remained motionless, emitting mouse-like squeaks to the best of my ability. I was probably the biggest damn mouse he (or she) ever saw. I have also hear that fishers will climb trees at night at pull turkeys off the roost.
    Quill, I enjoyed your lazy-ass nature report. Hope there will be more.

  8. Woolybugah

    Good job Quill of lazy-ass nature reporting catching that fisher cat. After a “certain age” a good night’s sleep is important. And what’s equally important is keep up with tecknowlegy in using that “smarter” than us camera.

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