Petit Manan Wildlife Refuge

I’m not sure if I mentioned this in a previous post but I have to tell you folks, I love the Petite Manan Wildlife Refuge. The two main trails there are amazing.

I went there yesterday, since it’s the safest place to hike during what is now hunting season.

Tell me, how much sense does it make that people can hunt in state parks? I mean, the rest of the forests in Maine aren’t enough? What about people like me that like to hike in the fall? Supposedly we still can though, I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel safe walking trails in the woods knowing there are people around with firearms looking to shoot something. And before anyone jumps on me about all this, yes I wear bright colors (which was difficult in itself for me because my wardrobe is nearly totally black), and yes I announce my presence with noise/coughs/talking to my hiking companion/etc through out the hikes on trails in state parks where hunting is allowed. You’d think that if hunting is allowed in certain areas the park rangers would put up signs either prohibiting hikers from trails during hunting season or, at the very least, warning people that hunting is allowed. I didn’t know you could hunt in state parks until I looked it up online.

I don’t think it’s right, myself. I guess it’s just because I’m against hunting. Not hunters, mind you, that’s their choice (their misguided choice in my opinion, but still their choice). It’s just the act of shooting a defenseless animal that I’m against. People say it’s for population control but when you stop and think about it, what right do we really have to “control” any population when we can’t even control our own?

Anyway, this isn’t supposed to be a rant on my beliefs about what I think is right and wrong so I’ll reign it in and get back to my original topic.

Where was I?…

Oh yes…

Yesterday I went to the Petite Manan Wildlife Refuge (where hunting is prohibited) and spent the day on the trails.

I started off on the John Walker Hollingsworth, JR. Trail. This trail winds out to a point with an awesome view of the Petite Manan Lighthouse (I posted a picture of that in a post a while back).

While on this trail, I took a picture, well, several pictures, of this squirrel that was showing off in a tree close by me. I tried out the spiffy ten shot per second burst rate on my new camera. That’s pretty good for catching subjects in motion. But unfortunately, I wasn’t able to catch the squirrel when it looked directly at me. It waited until my camera was recording and processing the images. By the time the camera was done and I had lifted it to take a few more pictures, the squirrel had taken off.

Camera: Sony HX1, Focal Length: 99mm, F-Stop: 5, Shutter Speed: 1/160, ISO: 160

A little while later, maybe about a quarter of a mile further down the trail, I came across another squirrel, or it could have been the same one, I’m not sure. At first I thought something was in the grass moving around but as I got closer I could see little pine cones falling from a tree. I looked up and saw the squirrel nibbling on them then tossing them over the branch it was sitting on. The little bugger looked down at me, sat for a second staring at me, then tossed a pine cone at me. And the damn thing hit me! I laughed, told the squirrel it won, and that I was leaving. I then headed out to the end of the trail.

What I really want to catch a picture of on one of my hikes is either a deer or a moose. But, where it’s getting into hunting season I’m sure they’re all avoiding these well traveled trails.

I think maybe I’m going to take up snowshoeing this winter. I’m sure I’ll get some nice pictures then.

I have other stories about other trails and other pictures to share, but I think I’ll save those for later.

Until next time folks…

Keep on rockin’ on.

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~A.M.

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