Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 64

T

Woodland Elves

HERE ARE ELVES in the forest, and you needn't believe in fairy tales
to meet them. Just head for the deep woods in the evening or soon
after dawn with binoculars, and move slowly and quietly through
places where rotting logs and fallen leaves litter the ground.
I spotted an elf not long ago: it wore a dapper brown suit and carried its
short tail cocked upward. A winter wren, it appeared as dark as woodsy dirt
as it went scuttling along across the ground. The wren flicked its barred wings
as it scurried past decomposing branches and beneath and among deep green
ferns. It gave a little kip-kip call, sounding like a distracted elf searching for
something that had fallen out of its pocket.
What it was doing was hunting for spiders, ants, snails,
millipedes and other such invertebrate fare. My
binoculars helped me see that the wren was feeding,
but not what it was picking up, so swiftly did it find and
consume its food. The wren scoured its surroundings,
overturning leaves with its thin dagger of a bill, shuffling
the damp twigs, probing cracks in rotten stumps, darting
this way and that on foot and aided by bursts of its short
wings.
Once while sitting with my back against a tree I had
another elf inspect me: a shrew, a smoky brown bundle of energy that paused
just long enough to hop onto my boot before deciding that I was uninteresting
and inedible and resuming its frenetic activity. So surprised was I by this brief
encounter that I didn't notice any identifying characteristics that might have
let me figure out what kind of shrew had come to call. It was just a quick blur
with a pointy nose. In addition to several kinds of shrews, other small elfin
mammals that one may meet in the woods include deer mice, jumping mice,
voles and weasels.
There are cold-blooded elves as well, perhaps the most common being
the red-backed salamanders that spend the day in the damp spaces beneath
sloughed-off bark, rocks, logs and other debris, coming out to feed at
night. Lift a stone, and the dark, long-tailed salamander resting beneath it
will usually stay coiled and frozen in place - unless and until you touch it,
whereupon it will leap up and rush off into the nearby leaves as if on some
immensely important errand.
Take a sense of magic and impending discovery
into the elf-ridden woods of Pennsylvania. I doubt
you'll be disappointed.
64

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - Intro
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 43
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Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 50
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Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 56
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Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 58
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Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 68
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - 69
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2015 - Cover4
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