Saturday, July 20, 2013

Another Den and A View of the Falls

Camera-trapping didn't take long at all today because within the first 5 minutes of trekking through the woods, I found this:
Possible fox den?

This picture doesn't do much justice for the size of the hole but in reality, the hole is about 8 inches wide by 10 inches tall.  My money is on it being a fox hole but it could also be a small coyote den, a groundhog den, or something completely different.  Whatever lives in it will hopefully show up on the camera that I placed near it.

Since finding this hole and placing the camera only took a few minutes, there was time to explore a little bit before I had to go home.

I went to an area in the woods that I haven't had too much time to explore yet to look for more dens and tracks.

There weren't any dens in the ground except for the first one, but there were many holes in trees in this area of the forest.  Basically about one-fourth of all the trees in this area were standing but dead or rotting.  Beech trees, oaks, hickories, and a few walnuts make up the forest here.  It's the perfect flying squirrel habitat.  I took a few pictures of the holes in the trees and made note of exactly where I was.  I'll have to rig up a flying squirrel cam for these holes.
Who lives in these holes? Flyers? Squirrels? Owls?

When I got to the car, I still had some energy left in me so I figured I would drive a mile or two to Great Falls National Park.

Great Falls National Park is very close to where I work, so I am a frequent visitor.  A few of the rangers have gotten to know my name and an obligatory conversation about park wildlife is always sparked when I say hello.  It's one of my favorite places to unwind, and even though the waterfall observation decks can get packed with tourists, the park has many trails on which I walk at least once a week.

Today though, I just wanted to view the falls to see what they looked like with the current water conditions. The large waterfall of the Potomac River is the park's main attraction and the views of it never disappoint.  I take a picture every time I see the falls.  This afternoon was no exception.

Vultures are always flying overhead, herons are watching fish swim by, and squirrels are picking at the food scraps left by tourists.  The park is so close to my house and I'm glad I am able to get to it so easily.


  1. I think the holes were made by pileated woodpeckers. They're the right size for a big woodpecker. Pileated do drill into or shred low parts of trees in search of grubs.

    1. Robin, thanks for the comment and great thought. The holes, though somewhat old, still look like they've been pecked by birds rather than chewed by mammals so I agree. I'm really curious to see what comes out of them on camera.