Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My Nocturnal Visitor

A couple days ago, I looked out towards the basement walkout area and saw a huge mound of freshly dug sand. This is about the third year of this, but I'd never seen who or what was doing it. That night about 9:30 PM, I happened to turn out the outside light to look out at the yard, and to my amazement, there was a badger coming out of a large hole.


I grabbed my camera, quietly stepped out onto the porch, and tried to get a few photos. I quietly suggested he pack his bags and relocate, but he ignored me and went back to his work. (I did use a software program to adjust brightness and contrast so you could see him in this photo.)



The next morning you could really see his work. He's quite a little earthmover, having dug his main entrance (above), a separate exit, and had tried to start three or so others, but ran into roots in a couple of them.



I have a live trap, and thought about relocating him to a national forest, but the thought of having to open the trap and have my hands near what would probably be a rather upset, rather vicious mammal was not at all appealing.

Being a rescue driver for the Northwoods Wildlife Center, I don't want to harm the badger, I'd just prefer he not dig up my yard! So I called the NWC and spoke with Mark, the rehabber. He agreed having to open the trap would not be terribly safe, and explained that badgers move into an area, dig, hunt all the prey they can, then move on to new hunting grounds. All I would need to do is wait, the badger would leave, and I could fill in the holes again as best I can. So that is the plan.


Yesterday, I stopped by Artistree Gallery, and as I was leaving, could not resist the fall mums. I love having a pot or two on the step in autumn, and before long I'll be able to add a pumpkin. With these brisk fall days and cold nights, it won't be long and the woods will be full of color. I just couldn't wait, and this is such a welcoming sight when I'm going back inside after working on our winter wood.

6 comments:

Theresa said...

And what a handsome fellow he is too! I would be honored to be able to study one close up actually,
but badgers are far and few in Oregon. I have seen one or two in New England and while feisty are quite
captivating. And you'll have the added benefit of reduced rodent population I'll bet.

Evelyn said...

Great that you caught a photo of your visitor. We have Pocket Gophers here making similar piles of dirt everywhere and they love the veggie garden!

Life Looms Large said...

Very cool that you got a picture of him! (The big piles of dirt are not so cool.)

Interesting that they move on after a while.

Sue

Mrs. Art Doll Maker said...

Holy mackerel! That's a lot of work he did. We caught a possum recently and had the trapper release him far enough away in a park or wooded area. Originally, he dug under the back of our house. We thought something died. It turned out to be the possum. I never knew the raunchy stink of them. It was horrendous.

Susan said...

Badgers and bears! Life sounds pretty exciting up there in the north woods

Anonymous said...

It's so cool that you actually got a picture of him! WOW! Yes, they can destroy a lot of property in short order. We had one in out alfalfa field last year.

LaVonne