While walking in the woods collecting GPS data (more on that later) I stopped to admire a foxhole: it looked warm, cozy, and dry. While I was leaning closer, the resident came to the "doorway"! We exchanged our mutual surprise, and I quickly moved on.
Later I saw a flock of 23 turkeys passing through. They look much more at home melting away into the woods than they do crossing a lawn. By the way, we do not allow turkey hunting at Crow's Nest Preserve.
And on the same day I also saw black vultures. Since we are located at the northern edge of their range, and since they are a more solitary animal than the more common turkey vulture, black vultures are only an occasional sighting. They can be distinguished by having gray only on the tips of the undersides of their wings, instead of the trailing edge found on turkey vultures. They also have shorter tails, noticeable even when they are flying at high altitude, and they are smaller overall, which you can see when the two species are found together. Up close, they have a black head instead of the turkey vulture's red.
With the last week's rain the amphibian migration has entered full swing. Watch out for them on the roads on wet nights this week!
About the GPS: I've borrowed a Global Positioning System unit to collect location data on the preserve's boundaries and a few of the natural and historic features: current beaver dams, trails, former charcoal-making sites, cobblestone quarries, rare plants. I need to collect this data before the trees leaf out since the GPS doesn't work as well under the tree canopy. We'll us this data for mapping, to help find these places in the future (charcoal-making sites, for example, gradually disappear as the forest grows back into them), and to help inventory the resources here.