Will the REAL fishercat -- please stand up ...

... flawed digits lost our photo

from Don Norris

It all happened in the February issue. It was yet another excellent issue of the Melrose Mirror, but unfortunately we lost some five of our production photos.

Somehow the code for a photo of a Fishercat, in Don's story in February, got wiped out -- lost, stolen, misplaced, gone-zo -- along with four other pictures in a Christmas story.

The latter story wasn't that important, but the piece on spotting a fishercat in Melrose, we felt, surely is newsworthy. The fact is lots of wild animals have been seen at Mount Hood (the wooded golf course) and in the state forests that spill over into Melrose.

Coyotes are common now. Foxes scamper about in the Fellsland. a herd of six young deer was spotted using the powerline path as a way to Malden and Boston. Melrose has some eleven-thousand families living in town, so there is little space left, nowhere to expand except up. And that's exactly what is happening-- high-rise apartment buildings are sprouting up all along the railroad right-of-way --- still, the forest animals are sneaking through our back yards, mostly at night.

So it is strange to see a moose, or deer, or coyotes crossing some suburban street. But that's what's happening.

As for the elusive fishercat, there were two sightings over the past few months -- both by this family -- the Norrises. I saw that elusive 'cat' last spring following the high ridgeline, through our back yard. And my wife saw him/her late this past fall, again following the ridge that forms a precipice overlooking Pine Banks Park.

So Melrose, which has no vacant land to build upon, is building UP. Meanwhile the wild animals use our north-south ridge to get to -- where? Boston, which is a short ten-mile subway ride away.

On the good side, we no longer have to travel north to New Hampshire or Maine to see wildlife in action -- we just look out our back door.

As a footnote, the Boston Globe recently carried two stories of bears invading backyards in the western suburbs.

March 5, 2015

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