Monday, January 9, 2012

New Year, New Faces

After a restful two-week break, we welcomed each other back to IslandWood for another quarter of learning and teaching.  And part of our reintroduction to this space we are calling “home” for now included meeting the other residents of IslandWood, ones who reveled in our absence. These are the creatures of the day and night who, in the quiet stillness of the forest, could sense that we were all away for the holiday break. Luckily, technology has made it possible for us to “meet” these silent residents. This week as part of our Natural History class, we set out to recover images from three camera traps that instructors Stan and Greg had set over the break. The cameras, placed on trees in three different locations, are motion-triggered and can capture nighttime images with an infrared flash. Back inside, we anxiously awaited the results, hoping for glimpses of the other mammals who also call IslandWood “home.” We ooo-ed and aaah-ed as we scrolled through the pictures and were fascinated to see actual images of the creatures from whom we normally only find tracks and scat. It served as a potent reminder that although we often claim this space as “ours” we are merely visitors in others’ territory.
Here are some of the favorites:
 A river otter on the Marsh Loop Trail
 Raccoon on the Marsh Loop Trail
 Not sure what to think about the camera...
 Cheese! A deer posing
 The most exciting: a coyote!
 Strange creatures indeed

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