Sunday, April 13, 2014

Do You Ever Wonder…?

Do you see him in there among the mango leaves
I wonder about woodcock. Ten thousand years ago, during the last ice age, when they migrated north, did they stop in what is now Maryland? They must have. Further north was a frozen wasteland. But maybe Maryland was much like northern Labrador is today, so possibly they summered and raised their young in Georgia. Perhaps we can convince our government to spend a big chunk of money to figure this out.
And what about the woodcock’s favorite food, the earth worms? I’ve read authorities that stated they weren’t indigenous to North America, but were brought over by the Europeans. If that is true, what did woodcock eat? Just grubs? The woodcock would have followed the Europeans around to uproot up their newly introduced apple trees and such to get at those new “imported” tasty morsels.

And I’ve read other experts that stated the worms were here all along and died when the ice sheet covered over them. One writer even said the worms had returned north at something like eighteen inches a year. I’m not sure how that was measured or if our tax dollars paid for the research. Did someone actually put radio telemetry collars on earth worms? I’m happy the answers they found weren’t in metric.
Ruffed grouse in a mahogany tree?
If we could travel back through time to the last ice age, would it be possible to shoot ruffed grouse in the Florida Keys? It’s fun to imagine, skipping from island to island, the sand sticking to our waxed cotton brush pants. Woodcock probably flew right across the Straits of Florida to winter in Cuba and the Bahamas. I guess there wasn’t any rum then, but it still would have made a spectacular winter vacation, assuming the seasons lasted into January and February.
What I am glad of is that we don’t know all the answers. Can you imagine if we could google everything?

Are those holes in the sand from a woodcock's probing bill or clams...?