December 13, 2018

If The Shoe Fits….

At first glance, I just assumed that some worthless politician must have been trying to figure out why the chicken crossed the road, then I realized I was seriously demeaning that poor bear.

By the looks of things this particular bear must not be struggling to find food, or this is what he kept inside of him during hibernation.

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For Mainers, Sighting of Mud Runt Official Notice of Spring

Greenwood, Maine 4-01-17     The rare and mostly unseen, Mud Runt, was glimpsed late last week.  The spring melt was progressing nicely, and many mud holes were opening up.  The roads are all posted to prohibit heavy truck traffic, and hopes of lovely flowers danced in many heads.  But the April Fools Day snow storm put the damper on hopes of seeing more of the reptilian wonders.  We here, will still try to get more pictures and sightings of this amazing denizen of “Mud Season”.  EP

However, the following weather forecast certain bids doom and gloom for the sought-after Mud Runt.

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It’s Official! Spring Returns to Maine

I received the following report from the master of all things Maine. Eleazar Peabody has the inside and outside scope on everything that happens “naturally” in Maine…probably unnaturally as well. He’s better than any farmer’s almanac and certainly no weather scientist can hold a candle to his weather and climate predictions.

Eleazar Peabody reports:

“Mr. Tom;

                  Earlier this week I spotted the first Mud Runts of the season.  They looked quite healthy and seemed in good spirits.  They were cavorting in a wet spot just off the Patch Mountain Road, near Greenwood City, Maine.  They disappeared quite quickly when they saw my broad smile and caught sight of Ole Brinker…Cheers and Happy Spring!!
                 Eleazer Peabody”
MudRunt2016
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Mud Runts Kick Off Official Start of Spring

What does Punxsutawney Phil know about when Spring arrives in Maine? Nothing! Only two people, that I am away of, have the uncanny ability of seeking and finding the first emergence of an “official” Maine Mud Runt.

Ron Fournier, owner of Orion Outfitters appears to have been the first to sight a Runt. He wrote me:

“Just last week during the brief warm up, we took just enough time off from ice fishing to check some of the streams and trout ponds in search for early season open water trout fishing spots. As I walked the banks of the West Branch of the Pleasant River, deep in the National Forest I saw not one but two Runts! Each only about 12” long, sunning themselves on a distant branch that poked from the water. Their impeccable hearing was no match for the crunch of my snowshoes and they soon disappeared before I could get the camera.

But what was even more promising, and concerning…I then departed to pull off one of our ice shacks off of North Pond. The edges of the lake are getting a little punky and open in some spots. As I approached the ice, there in the slush was the telltale sign of a mud runt slowly coming out of hibernation!

This one was much larger, and it’s black beady eyes were quite visible above the surface. The distinct “croak” followed by 3 short whistles seldom heard from a mud runt quickly let me know that he wasn’t in the mood to move anytime quick. Not knowing how many more lurked in the slush and mud, I decided to leave the shack for another day.

Be careful out there folks, and if you can get a photo please do so. The state still does not recognize this invasive species as having a foothold in Maine.”

Eleazer Peabody, “noted” Maine storyteller and keeper of some of Maine’s best secrets, evidently has not yet spied on his own the coming out of hibernation of the Mud Runts. His only comment, upon hearing Ron’s discovery was:

“Here it is to be in the forty’s all day and overnight above freezing!! Certainly a day of some celebration….”

A man of wisdom and few words – and probably fed up with winter.

mudrunts2010

Stock Photo

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Nuisance Bear Calls On The Increase This Time of Year

For Immediate Release May 7, 2014

AUGUSTA, Maine – Nuisance bear complaints have already begun this spring, and the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is reminding homeowners to remove potential bear attractants from their yard.

“Maine has a large bear population, and this time of year after emerging from their winter dens, hungry bears are out looking for food,” says IFW black bear biologist Jen Vashon. “We want to remind people to remove common backyard attractants so they don’t create a potentially dangerous interaction with a black bear.”

Already, the department has received over 20 nuisance bear complaints. Annually, the Department handles approximately 500 nuisance bear complaints. In 2012, the department responded to over 827 complaints, and last year there were 311 as of December.

Black bears emerge hungry from their dens after losing between 15 to 40 percent of their weight during winter, and they immediately start looking for food. Bears will often turn to suburban attractants such as bird feeders, pet food and unsecured garbage bins when natural foods are not available.

“It is important for people to be proactive so they don’t attract bears to their homes,” said Vashon. “Don’t wait until a bear gets to your birdfeeder or grill. They become accustomed to the location where they find food and they will return.”

Much of a bear’s diet is vegetation, but with the late winter, many natural foods such as buds, leaves and grasses are not yet available. Generally this time of year, bears will feed on grasses and sedges near wetlands, as well as the roots, tubers and bulbs of plants, such as skunk cabbage and others. Bears are also opportunistic carnivores, and they will occasionally feed on moose calves, deer fawns and livestock.

Once the berry crops emerge in early summer, bears will start seeking food in berry patches and conflicts will diminish. However when berry crops are poor, bears move more in search of food and often find food in backyards—causing more problems between people and bears.

Bears that live near people often rely on foods inadvertently provided by people, such as highly nutritional sunflower seeds for birds. Birdseed and other attractants should be removed to prevent attracting or creating nuisance bears. Because a bear will continue to visit an area where there is easy access to food, everyone needs to work together to make their community less attractive to bears.

In order to keep your home and community less attractive to bears between April 1 and November 1, when bears are most active, please:

Take down bird feeders, rake up and dispose of bird seed on the ground, and store remaining bird seed indoors.
Although bringing your feeders in at night and raking up and disposing of bird seed on the ground can make your yard less attractive to a bear, a bear may visit your bird feeder during the day. If you are experiencing problems with bears, the only way to discourage the bear from returning is to remove all food attractants.

Keep garbage cans inside until the morning of trash pickup.
Keep lids on dumpsters closed at all times and schedule frequent pickups to avoid overflowing garbage. If possible, used dumpsters with metal lids and keep the dumpster in a building or behind a fence.

Keep your barbecue grill clean by burning off any food residue, disposing of wrappers and cleaning the grilling area after use. If possible, store grills inside when not in use.
Store pet and livestock food inside, and clean up any uneaten food.

If you do encounter a bear, you should make loud noises, such as banging pots together, to try to scare it off. Always back away from the bear to give it an escape route. Without an escape route, a cornered bear may charge.

By taking these precautions, homeowners are more likely to prevent conflicts that could pose a danger to human life or require corrective action, such as moving or killing a bear.

For more information, visit www.mefishwildlife.com.

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Spring Is Coming to Maine

SpringGoose

Milt Inman Photo

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Official Notice: Mud Runts Have Been Spotted

Yes it’s true! Spring is really here, a mud runt was spotted this morning in Albany Township just before seven o’clock. It was of normal size and seemed to be quite healthy from a long snowy, cold winter…hurrahhhhh….

Eleazer Peabody

mudrunts2010

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Where is Spring?

This deer is asking, “Man, it’s the middle of March. The snow is up to my…..well, never mind that. WHERE IS SPRING?”

DeerSnow

Photo by Gary Inman

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All Moose Like Spring Green-up


Photo by Al Remington

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