Marian stayed home to raise Michelle and her brother, Craig, skillfully managing...
Or a Canada goose over Somerset, England; twin boomerangs over El Teide, Tenerife; an elephant above Modena, Italy.
These are just a few of the images on more than 3,000 photos posted by members of the Cloud Appreciation Society on their website.
Some of the best, including Richard Unwin’s Grim Reaper over Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, are included in a surprising booklet, “Hot Pink Flying Saucers and Other Clouds,” edited by Gavin Pretor Pinney (Penguin, $10).
If you believe as the group’s more than 10,000 members do that there’s more to life than just “blue sky thinking,” then a cloudy day on your vacation won’t get you down. Just grab your camera. cheap canada goose http://www.icanadagoosereview.top/ You never know what you’ll see.
Kari Bodnarchuk writes about outdoor adventures, offbeat places, and New England.
Patricia Borns, a frequent contributor to Globe Travel, writes and photographs travel, maritime, and historical narratives as well as blogs and books.
Paul E. Kandarian, a frequent contributor to Globe Travel, writes and photographs New England and Caribbean stories.
The Beast in your Backyard
LET ME IN! The snarling, garbage fattened raccoon has attached itself to your screen door with the claws of all four legs and is attempting to shake it loose from the hinges. She and her family have already spent weeks terrorizing your cat, pillaging the dog food from your porch, rifling your trash cans, and peering at you and your spouse in the privacy of your bedroom. Now this fearless urban marauder is interrupting your summer dinner party and alarming your guests. She’s big, she’s mean, she’s chattering like a banshee, and she has evil red glowing eyes like embers from Hell. The foot long rat scurrying behind the dryer in your basement. The neighbor’s pet ferret that’s somehow entered your apartment and nested in your sock drawer. The frenzied, hyperactive squirrels screeching from your attic. The bats in your executive gubernatorial mansion. The pigeons shitting on the freshly detailed paint job of your new A4. The crows swooping down to dive bomb your child’s stroller at Green Lake. In the Depression era ’30s, such backyard hunting was both for sport and food. These days, frontier mores have given way to a more squeamish attitude. The feds were in charge of the Canada goose dilemma because those waterfowl are at least theoretically a migratory species, crossing state and international boundaries. (Though, lately, these birds can hardly be roused to cross Eastlake Avenue hence the problem.)Most other wildlife issues fall under the purview of the state. Cities and counties are generally charged with keeping track of dogs, cats, and bunnies. According to state codes, the property owner and the owner’s immediate family, tenants, or employees are all free to trap or kill wild animals and birds that are scarfing your cherries, menacing dogs, or wolfing down chickens. “People can control mammals” that are damaging property, says Steve Dauma, enforcement officer at the State Department of Fish and Wildlife, “so long as the animal isn’t protected or endangered, and as long as it isn’t a big game species like a bear, a cougar, a moose.”How do these rules translate to the raccoon family chewing up the crawl space in your Wallingford Craftsman? There’s little doubt that the furry masked bandits can be a health hazard and typically cause considerable property damage. “They defecate and urinate all over the place,” says Wayne Switzer, a local specialist in nuisance wildlife control, who grew up trapping bobcats and coyotes in Eastern Oregon. “And they carry roundworm. People don’t realize it gets into the air system, all the insulation has to be taken out under biohazard conditions.” Two years ago, Switzer hauled four raccoons out of a Bellevue crawlspace. Seattle municipal code prohibits discharging a firearm anywhere there’s “a reasonable likelihood that humans, domestic animals, or property will be jeopardized.”However, as a practical matter, backyard snipers may plink away at annoying squirrels, possums, crows, and rats with their BB guns. Here again, stickling city codes give you pause. City of Seattle regulations forbid you to “injure, kill, or physically mistreat any animal,” to say nothing of the prohibitions against animal cruelty. “Don’t try to trap the animal alive in a ‘humane trap’ with the idea that you will release it in another location,” advises state urban wildlife biologist Russell Link. As a fur bearing animal, they have a season, and trappers must have a license. Thanks to a winter distemper that ran through the local population two years ago, raccoon complaints are actually down lately, according to Wayne Switzer. “For the past five years there’s been a steady increase,” says Carl Douglas, of Redi Net Pest Eliminators on Aurora. “The rats have just exploded,” agrees Switzer. “It’s because we’re having such mild winters.”A couple summers ago, for instance, the drive through lane of a fast food restaurant in the Totem Lake area of Kirkland was being overrun at night with hundreds of rats, Switzer recalls, crawling up and around cars as customers were picking up their food. The restaurant was close to some blackberry bushes, a favorite rat habitat.”A rat urinates over 3,000 times over a twenty four hour period,” says Switzer. “So you can imagine the smell.”The common Norwegian and roof varieties of rat have no bureaucratic protection whatever and may be trapped or killed at will under state law. “Even coyotes will wait till it’s the last thing around before they’ll eat a run over possum. “You can’t shoot a deer because he’s eating your rose bush,” notes Steve Dauma of Fish and Wildlife. If the suburban safety of you or your family is being genuinely threatened by a bear or a cougar, you can have at them, but not “just because they’re around,” Dauma says. These are game animals, with a hunting season, and a license is required before taking any action unless it’s an emergency. The kids “are small game to them.”And what about the neighbor’s adorable tabby repeatedly pissing on your front door or the beagle digging up your garden? Here, city regulations apply and more self control may be in order. Do not, repeat, do not, follow the example of Seattle Times publisher and Mercer Island resident Frank Blethen Jr., who was charged with an animal cruelty misdemeanor two years ago after allegedly firing a pellet gun at a yellow Labrador puppy that’s right, folks, a puppy! who had apparently come rooting around in Blethen’s shrubbery one too many times. (At least Judy Nicastro hasn’t introduced any yet.)The land of plentyIronically, at a time when nuisance wildlife poses perhaps the gravest threat yet to our attics, flower beds, and precious bodily fluids, the most commonly used tool for controlling them may soon be outlawed. The backers of a new anti trapping citizens’ initiative have gathered enough signatures to put I 713 on the ballot this fall. It would ban use of the kind of animal killing (and maiming) traps that professionals like Switzer most commonly use. The traps would be allowed only after nonlethal methods were tried and with special approval from the director of Fish and Wildlife.”This requirement will cause delays in agency response to damage complaints,” says a Fish and Wildlife statement (though the agency is technically taking no position on the measure). “People often leave food on the back porch for their dog or cat,” for example, he says. “When there’s food, animals will come.” Ditto for overflowing or loosely lidded garbage cans. His tip sheet on raccoons, for instance, suggests that if a raccoon has taken residence in your chimney, you should “place a large bowl of white vinegar and a loud radio in the fireplace.” (We recommend tuning the dial to 107.7 The End for maximum small mammal discomfort.) To avoid attracting the animal, he also recommends sprinkling cayenne pepper on recently sodded lawns. For those so inclined, the Humane Society also publishes a comprehensive book entitled Wild Neighbors: The Humane Approach to Living with Wildlife.”Possums, skunks and raccoons have adapted very well to living in town. “We’re decimating 200 acres of habitat a day in Washington, paving it under for housing,” says Wayne Switzer. “Those are huge numbers. As we do this, we’re going to have huge problems.”"Homes are being built in territory that cougars have considered their own,” notes Vicki Schmitz, Animal Control director for King County. Switzer tells a story about a new housing development that went up along a lake shore north of the county. “Everybody thought the beavers were so cute.