Category Archives: For Fun!

Circle of Life

As I began writing this post a deer walked within 30 feet of our deck, while Evan and I were sitting outside enjoying the view. This has pretty much become a daily occurrence. In fact, while I was on a recent business trip Evan was able to snap a photo capturing 2 unique members of the animal kingdom at once.

In the picture below you’ll see a great blue heron to the left of our kayaks, near the water’s edge and a deer at the bottom right, eating the neighbor’s blueberries 🙂

heron-deer.jpg

The great blue heron lives in the waterfowl protection area which is adjacent to our property. We see him coming and going frequently through-out the day. Over the 4th Ian took a video of this giant bird catching a sizable fish! After seizing its prey he flew off with the fish still flapping around trying to escape its captor.

Speaking of catching fish…Until recently, I had to shamefully confess that, after spending a number of vacations on Sebago Lake and living here for over 18 months, I had never pulled a fish from these waters. Thankfully, that changed a few days ago when I was casting a lure off our dock. After several casts I’m proud to say that a fish struck and I brought him in. It was a good-sized white perch! Had we been camping he would have quickly been gutted and readied for dinner. Instead, I released him for another day…

img_0353.jpg

I can now sleep peacefully 🙂

Speaking of sleeping peacefully…Last night something pretty violent occurred on our dock! I was awakened just after midnight by the shrieks of what sounded like a young girl being dismembered. Upon hearing the sound I got up from bed, peered out the window and could just barely make out a dark object with hunched back, about the size of a raccoon, walking from the end of the dock towards land. After doing some research I have pretty much confirmed that it was a fishercat. These are vicious creatures that make a blood curdling sound upon taking their prey. He probably nabbed a duckling or merganser chick, as they often sleep on the end of our dock. Click here to check out a YouTube video sharing a recording of a fishercat.

Another woodland creature that gives off a similar high-pitched sound, which we’ve often heard at night, is a red fox. It could easily be mistaken for a fishercat, however, fishercats have a more gurgling sound, while a fox sounds like a lady screaming. Click here to listen to the sound of a red fox.

If you’ve never stayed in the woods or heard these 2 creatures sound off you probably will not sleep well after your first experience hearing them, as you wonder what could possibly be going on in the wilderness around you. Especially, if you’ve been whiling away the hours reading a Stephen King horror novel…

On a lighter note, completing the circle of life, several of us witnessed 2 fish mating on the 4th of July. For a few days prior we had seen a clear circular spot at the bottom of the lake just off of our dock, as a single fish swam around within. Perhaps a female nesting, waiting for her mate? Then, to our surprise, another fish had entered the circle and they were performing their act of procreation. I won’t share the video here to ensure this site maintains its PG status 🙂

In closing, it is truly amazing what you are able to witness in nature, when you are simply paying attention.

All the best!

Horses and The Cost of Convenience

Last week, Cindy and I acquired a number of horses.

260 to be exact.

They came packaged in the form of 2 Seadoos, each powered by 130 horse engines.

So far we’ve had about 8 hours of running them on the lake.

The result: my shoulders are killing me from the vicious beating I’ve given mine over the last few days. Advil only helps a little 🙂

But oh, what fun. Below is a picture of my Mom and I on mine, over Memorial Day Weekend.

IMG_1272

Cindy has the identical twin…

IMG_4216

As you might imagine, horses take a lot of hay (in this case gasoline). Especially when ridden for long periods of time with the throttle to the handle; achieving a top speed of 56 mph (so far). They say ours will “approach” 60 when fully broken in.

Our new friends and neighbors have one that will do 75 mph. We are more than fine with ours 🙂

What we didn’t previously realize is the HUGE difference in the price of gas at a marina vs. what can be acquired at the local roadside filling station. In our case, a difference of 85 cents per gallon.

Consider the following:

  • Since each of our units take almost 16 gallons of gas we will pay over $27 more at a marina than if we filled them with fuel purchased at a gas station.
  • In less than a week we’ve had to fill them 3 times which “would have” amounted to an excess fuel charge of around $80.

The only “trouble” (or inconvenience) involves buying a few extra 5-gallon gas tanks (costing around $13 apiece at Walmart), filling them and carting them home for the horses.

Given the above, we more than paid for the extra fuel tanks at around 1.5 refills, and are now running “in the black.”

That said, it isn’t that we will never fill up at a marina. We are on a large lake (connected to other bodies of water) and could easily find ourselves so far from homeport, and want to remain out there, that we’d naturally have to take advantage of the “convenience factor” of one of the many marinas.

However, for normal, planned refills we shall take the do-it-yourself approach.

Well, the horses are again kicking at the barn door. Cindy and I will take them out shortly for a picnic somewhere on the lake.

Happy (belated) Memorial Day

p.s. – A very, very special THANK YOU goes out to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice (their very lives) resulting in the MANY freedoms that we now enjoy in our country. Let’s NOT take that for granted. Instead, let’s get out there and DO SOMETHING!

Ever Pet A Flying Squirrel?

Living on the lake affords Cindy, I and our visitors constant opportunities to view wildlife.

Monday of this week is the record (so far).

First…Upon my return trip from picking up the mail (our mailbox is about 1/2 a mile down the road) I spotted a fox trotting up the road, just ahead of me. Once he heard my approach he stopped, looked and waited, as I got close enough to take this picture.

IMG_4092

What a beautiful creature! Click on the image for a closer look…

Shortly after returning home Cindy and I looked out our back window and saw several deer grazing in the yard. By the time we raised the shade so that I could snap this photo, only a single doe remained.

IMG_4096

Not the best picture, but it does serve as “proof of deer.”

Later that afternoon we saw our friend the eagle soar across the cove. So far, I’ve been unable to get a reasonable photo of it in flight. But, I did take this snapshot several days ago as it stood on the ice at least 50 yards out.

 IMG_4078

Realize, this is a HUGE bird, especially obvious when viewing their wing span at take off!

Now, to the flying squirrels…

Over the last couple of months Cindy and I would be out on our deck in the early evening BBQ’ing dinner. And, we’d notice “something” fly by in the dark and land on the ground, out of sight. We didn’t think too much of it. Perhaps it was just a lone bird out a little later than the rest.

After experiencing this (something flying by in the dark) numerous times we were finally able to see a small creature scurrying along on the ground foraging for food. What is it? It couldn’t be. Yep, it’s a flying squirrel!

First time we had ever seen one.

Well, it gets better. To round out our Monday, we were again BBQ’ing and noticed that our friend the flying squirrel was perched on our bird feeder devouring seed.

I was able to get within 2 feet of it and take this picture.

FullSizeRender

Cindy actually pet the little guy. He stayed there for a few minutes until he became spooked and then launched himself into flight, and glided to the ground.

Now THAT is an amazing creature, topping off a great Monday at the lake!

Last evening we were once again BBQ’ing and noticed TWO flying squirrels perched on our bird feeder. I approached and one immediately launched into flight. The other stayed long enough for me to pet its tail.

There!

Cindy and I are now tied, in that we have BOTH pet a flying squirrel 🙂

We are looking forward to spring and the other wildlife that is likely to emerge for our viewing pleasure!