Day Six of Forty

So, for 40 days and 40 nights—one or the other—I intend to post here in word counts in increments or multiples of 40, so from 40 words to 1,600, but probably somewhere in between most days. My intention is to “write through the Divide”—we all know…the one that we Americans apparently are split between. But I call bull on that, because we are not so divided as we think we are. I’ll keep this paragraph of my intro for each post, so if you’re seeing this for what feels like the bazillionth time, sorry, but someone else may be seeing it for the first time.

Monday Photos

Today, I diverge from the usual—a set number of words—to post a couple of photos I really like.

These are probably spruce grouse, a species whose taxonomy has bounced around and currently is considered to be the genus Falcipennis, species Canadensis, with five subspecies recognized, including two in Nova Scotia, where this group of grouse were hanging out just off the Skyline trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park.


Spruce Grouse, Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia, Canada, September 2016. Given the little bit of red over the eye (not seen here), this is probably a male.

What amazed me about these grouse is their apparent ease around humans, but this is said to be one of their traits and has earned them the nickname “fool’s hen.” Animals were said at one time not to fear humans, so it’s interesting that these birds appear to have retained that quality. They were within 10 to 15 feet of passersby on the Skyline Trail.


Spruce Grouse, Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia, Canada, September 2016. Based on the understated markings, this is probably a female.

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