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Creatures Who Visit Camping Areas

Discussion in 'Nature' started by 2sweed, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    Yes, I am sorta a late night person.

    As for the skunks though, what I meant was why the scent seems to linger -- if there is a reason certain odors stick around longer than others.
  2. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    I'm still checking that out. The odour clings and lingers for days on end. It has been interesting reading the various articles and information.
  3. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    i went and checked out some video's about skunks but was not impressed with the information on them. One said that tomato juice does not work, but our noses can only handle so much of the skunk smell that we sort of just block it out in a attempt to get over it. I used tomato juice, but then at that time I had outdoor dogs and so did not have to worry about the scent in the house. But when living in Florida, had a small spotted skunk climb into our outside vent and get in the dryer. I was unaware he was in there and started the dryer. It killed the skunk and stunk up my garage for a week or more. Did not help when a family member thinking he could fix the dryer opened the motor up to remove the skunk in the garage. :( Needless to say both dryer and family member, were banished from the house and garage. :)
  4. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    I haven't been impressed with a lot of the videos that I've viewed. I think I might take a trip to the library and research a bit more. You sure had an experience with skunks. I don't know what I would have done. I did have squirrels in the attic - that was bad enough. Certainly no smell.
  5. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    Oh, squirrels in the attic, don't get me started. At our family camp we had them up in the ceiling and in the eves. At night they would run back and forth chattering and chewing on the wood. At my house I get in one squirrel running in ceiling or cubby hole areas, or else it is mice. I have to put mouse bait out for them and then they go away for a while. Wild critters are interesting in the woods, but not so much fun in the house. :(
  6. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    I can certainly appreciate that.
  7. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    Canada Geese
    In autumn and in the early spring another type of visitor might be seen in the skies on their way north to nest or on their way south for the winter. The Canada geese, migration routes often pass over countryside and towns, and deep forests. We see them flying in their famous V shaped formation and hear their honking cries. While we may not know much about how they know when to start on their voyages at least we have clues to why they migrate and the paths they take.

    The birds go north to nest because daylight lasts longer there and gives them more time to feed their young. And of course they fly southward to avoid the freezing temp's and lack of food over the winter months. It is said there are four principal routes that are used, the first being from the Arctic to the southern borders and the Atlantic and Mississippi paths, and the Central and Pacific, pathways in the sky that each year, twice a year, are filled with beautiful feathered travelers. Many of the birds go to South or Central America. Some go to Antarctica, but most remain in areas of the United States.

    It seems that in recent years the migration pattern routes of the geese are shorter than what once was, as some who nest in the far north now come south only as far as southern Maryland or the California marshes. Many geese stop partway to their ancestral wintering grounds and go no farther do to the increase of farming in some areas and the use of mechanical corn pickers that leave lots of corn in the fields, as well as, places that wildlife are fed and cared for during winter months.

    Even with the change in their wintering habits the geese are still affected by the call to go on the migration schedule and begin to grow restless in September and by mid November, most all of them are on their way south. Then in the Spring it seems they are driven north again as the temperatures climb high above 35 degrees.

    The common Canada goose weights an average of 9 pounds. There is a giant one out west that can weight up to 20 pounds, but is said to be very rare.
    The fall migration is of course more dangerous for then lots of hunters are out and looking forward to a goose dinner. But the geese have become clever and wary, in avoiding hunters and it helps them that wildlife refuges were built along the migratory flight paths.

    So when you hear that distant honking look up and marvel at the beauty of a bird who has the frame of mind to voyage back and forth across the deep blue skies twice a year, every year for their entire lives.
  8. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    Canada Geese Picture

  9. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Excellent picture. We have a good number around this neck of the woods. I live near a river with lots of crown land. We have had a problem with Canada Geese in that they don't seem to want to fly south. They inhabit our park lands and people often complain about them.
  10. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    Beavers are rodents, like squirrels or woodchucks, even mice, but they are very fascinating in the ways they can adapt to changes in their environments to meet their needs. Beavers have four chisel-like teeth and their teeth continue to grow, thus the need to constantly be chewing on wood, to keep their teeth sharpened. The teeth are made with bright orange enamel in front and harder than the dentine in the back. The paired teeth work against each other and that makes them self-sharpening.

    The beaver's tail is much different than other animals. At the base it is round and covered by hair. The remainder is flat and paddle-shaped. Figuring by the age a beaver might be the tail is four to seven inches wide and can be as long as 18 inches. During swimming the tail is used like a rudder and driving plane, but it also serves to help regulate the beaver's temperature, stores fat, and used to signal danger to others by the slap on the water.

    Typical beavers weight 40 to 60 pounds and are about four feet long. It is said that a beaver has the ability to continue to grow and that back in 1921, a man by the name of Vernon Bailey, found one weighting 110 pounds.

    A beaver can swim as fast as six miles an hour but usually tends to glide along at a slow pace. Beavers have hind feet with five webbed toes. The front feet has five fingers that are used for digging and holding, and they usually hold their front feet close to their chest when swimming. Some say they have recorded beavers staying under water from 10 to 14 minutes. To stay under water that long the beavers have huge lungs and a liver to store more air, as the blood vessels to it's extremities constrict, while the blood supply to the brain remains normal. Their system tolerates large amounts of carbon dioxide, without any difficulty and exchanges 70 percent of the air in their lungs compared to a humans 15 to 20 percent.

    Their bodies have adaptations that allow them to swim and dive with ease. A beaver can open its mouth underwater and pick up sticks without swallowing any water. They have furry flaps on the sides of their mouths that close behind their teeth. Their ears are small and are valvular so they can be closed to keep out water. It's nostrils are on the side of it's face so they can close easier. And lastly there is a transparent membrane that covers the beaver's eye and allows it to see more clearly underwater.

    The female beaver mates for life, but the males are polygamous. Breeding begins around mid- January and extends into late February. Birth happens in May or June. Usually a single litter produces four kits. The family consists of two adults, a few yearlings, and kits the baby beavers. At two years of age the young beavers are forced to leave home.
    Sometimes they will leave in pairs and travel 10 to 50 miles to establish their own colony.

    Many places we go to camp or fish, have streams and rivers, and lakes that have been dammed up to form a quiet pool for a colony of beavers. Lots of times they need to to trapped and moved to other locations due to the damage they do. Keep an eye out for them and enjoy the beauty of one of natures most amazing creatures.

    Last edited: Mar 25, 2014
  11. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Your descriptive note is the reason in part why I named the activity Beaver Program. It is also an emblem for the Province of Ontario.
  12. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    Beavers live in huts such as this illustration. beaver hut.jpg
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