Sunday, January 23, 2011
Ringtail country on a winter afternoon.
You're looking at the outcrops and spires on the east side to Butte Creek Canyon not far above the roaring creek.
They also occur in the wetlands of the Sacramento Valley, but they're usually associated with rocky canyon country.
Naturalist Michael Ellis recently mentioned the ringtail's use of cabins in Bay Nature.
I've read about ringtails and prospectors' cabins many times, but so far I've found only one first hand reference.
It is in Robert Pavlik's book Norman Clyde, Legendary mountaineer of California's Sierra Nevada (Heyday Books, Berkeley, CA).
A ringtail moved into Clyde's cabin in the eastern Sierra where it indulged in nocturnal capers above Clyde's bed.
Clyde fed it outside the cabin, though apparently this wasn't necessary because the cabin was well stocked with mice.