From squirrels to fishers --- take a look

... the city has a growth problem : wild animals

from the SilverStrringers

It's not right, it seems, to classify a squirrel as "game" -- mainly because nobody enjoys a plate of squirrel anymore. We do, however, find in Melrose a growing number of relatively "wild" animals.

Like last fall, my wife and I saw a small herd of young deer -- six of them, all in one yard, munching happily on a neighbor's plantings. And there was that strange sighting of a year ago, of an unidentified four-legged beast that was using our back yard as a safe passage; I had grabbed a quick photo of him, but only got it going away -- so the identity of this stranger remained a mystery -- until last month that same stranger showed up once more.

This time it was my wife who spotted him in the back yard. When we still couldn't settle on a brand name for our new intruder, my wife broke out National Audubon's "Familiar Animal Tracks" (the small book) in an effort to get an ID
on this fellow. Actually it is I, not my wife, who is the woodsman in this family, so I spent an hour or so going through pictures of eastern wildlife.

I settled on "Fisher". Big, not long -nor short-legged, heavy coat, brown and black, 3-inch snout.  Yes, Fisher. Hey, I was the Eagle Scout!

I can't say that spotting ONE Fisher is an influx of wildlife. But it IS my first sighting of that species in my first 85 years. Count the coyote sightings in the past few years, and that herd of young deer we rsn into last fall. Our city -
- suburban as it is -- now sports a fair share of wildlife.

What's next? A bear?

February 5, 2016

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