Well hello there little mouse! My husband Tom was releasing a mouse that was caught in his have-a-heart trap. He first opened opened the front door of the trap, with no sign of movement within, and then the back door. After a few minutes passed, out ran the little mouse, but then he froze in his tracks, only several feet from where I was standing. As I was motionless taking his photo, I think he must have thought I was a tree. He suddenly ran up my leg, up under my dress, and poked his head out from beneath my coat. It’s too bad I was holding the camera and not my husband!
Thinking about hantavirus, and just to be on the safe side, I changed my clothes and washed immediately.
Off towards the woods he ran.
Studies show how the increasing Eastern Coyote population has impacted White-footed Mice, Red Fox, and the explosion of Lyme disease. In areas where the Eastern Coyote has outcompeted the Red Fox for habitat, Lyme disease has increased. Coyotes not only kill Red Fox, they simply aren’t as interested in eating mice as are the fox.
Answer: Both the White-footed and Deer Mouse carry hantavirus, not the House Mouse. To be on the safe side, if you find rodent droppings in your home or office, do not vacuum because that will disperse the virus throughout the air. Instead, wipe up with a dampened paper towel and discard.
The head occupies almost one-third and the snout about one-fourth of the body length. The mouth is small, situated somewhat obliquely at the tip of the snout, and the lower jaw projects a little beyond the upper.
There are only two records of the trumpetfish from the Gulf of Maine: a specimen taken at Rockport, Mass. (north side of Cape Ann) in September 1865, preserved in the collection of the Essex Institute, where it was examined and identified by Goode and Bean and a second taken on the northern edge of Georges Bank by the trawler Flying Cloud on October 6, 1947, in a haul at 70 fathoms. Like other tropical fishes, however, it is not so rare west of Cape Cod, and a few small ones are taken at Woods Hole almost every year.
On a recent sunny weekday morning, I took a ride out to the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary. As expected, there were school children there but there was still plenty of room for me and my camera.
Many of the snow covered trails are littered with downed branches and other debris, but they are manageable with appropriate footwear. The staff was friendly and helpful and I felt confident I could navigate the sanctuary paths.
I had not gone very far and stopped to wonder at the small birds. They seemed close enough to touch. In fact, they were too close for my 70 mm lens. They flew over my head so close that they could have parted my hair. I stood there enchanted by the experience.
I wandered around a bit taking note of the syrup buckets and the river from the observation tower. It must be quite lovely in the spring and summer especially. As I back toward the Visitor Center, I was wondering if the birds may be somewhat tame or used to people since the close encounters continued throughout my walk.
Then my eyes landed on Mrs. Cardinal just sitting there waiting for me and I knew for certain I was having a special experience for myself.
I listened for the familiar cheep of the cardinal pairs and hear nothing, but I knew Mr. Cardinal was likely nearby. And he was. Right over the top of my head checking out the part in my hair.
At my backyard feeder, the cardinals are very skittish. These cardinals were not. I stood there long enough to take a satisfying number of pictures. They even stayed put as a pair of walkers came along chattering away. Again, I found myself enchanted and convinced this was a special place for people like me.
Visit if you can. Wear appropriate footwear. If you are afraid of birds flitting and dive-bombing, I suggest you volunteer as a school field trip chaperone and stick close to the chattiest ones. Otherwise, feel free to bring along seed in your pocket to offer the birds. The staff says this is acceptable and somewhat common. I hope your experience is as pleasant as mine.
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