Since Kevin parked on Goat Island, we walked from the Canadian Falls over to Luna Island. And from there we hiked the trail along Hell’s Half Acre, crossing the Goat Island pedestrian bridge to get to Prospect Point/Observation Point. Kevin, Sara, and I spent a little while there before we walked back to the parking lot on Goat Island. We had lunch in Wheatfield before we got ready for the wedding and the reception.
On Day Two, Kevin, Sara, and I went to Niagara Falls State Park in the morning. Five years ago, we were at Niagara Falls. But we never made it to Goat Island on that trip back then. This time, we planned to stay in the United States and go see the falls from the American side. On Goat Island, we’ve got a wonderful different view of the Horseshoe Falls. While we were standing at the rim, we saw Maid-of-the-Mist boats inching as close to the falls as possible. They wanted to give these tourists the experience of a lifetime. All the tourists wore ponchos. But some still came drenched out of the boats. Since we had a beautiful day and warm weather, their clothes dried up quickly. Due to the mist, Kevin, Sara, and I saw a very colorful rainbow that stretched from the Horseshoe Falls to the Bridal Veil Falls and American Falls in the Niagara Gorge.
A close cousin of the ground squirrel, the Black-tailed Prairie Dog is a heavy-bodied rodent with a black-tipped tail. Prairie dogs have large eyes, short tails and brownish-tan pelage.
Prairie dogs play an important role in the prairie ecosystem. They serve as a food source for many predators and leave vacant burrows for the burrowing owl, the Black-footed Ferret, the Texas horned lizard, rabbits, hares, and even rattlesnakes.
Prairie dogs are very social animals. They live as a group in prairie dog “towns” which range from one to over 1,000 acres. These towns are subdivided into wards that are arranged like counties within a state. Wards are further subdivided into distinct social units called coteries. A coterie usually consists of a single adult male, one to four adult females, and any offspring under two years of age. Movement between wards is uncommon; however, among family members, prairie dogs greet each other with bared teeth with which they “kiss” as a form of recognition.
Prairie dogs are strictly diurnal animals. They are most active during the cool hours of the day, when they engage in social activities such as visiting and grooming each other as well as feeding on grass and herbs. When prairie dogs are out, a sentry perches on the volcano-like ring that surrounds the burrow. Should a predator or any other danger become evident, the sentry will bark out a warning, after which the community will dive into their burrows and wait for the “all clear” call before venturing out again.
Prairie dogs are native to short-grass prairie habitats of western North America. They avoid heavy brush and tall grass areas due to the reduced visibility these habitats impose.
The Eastern Fox Squirrel is the largest squirrel in the United States, about 20 inches (50 centimeters) long and weighs about two pounds (900 grams). It has dark grey fur on its back and tan fur on its belly. The tail is cinnamon/grey colored. Their feet are tan. Fox Squirrels got their name for their fur coat which resembles that of a gray fox.
The European fallow deer also known as the common fallow deer or simply just fallow deer (Dama dama) is a species of ruminant mammal belonging to the family Cervidae. It is native to Turkey and possibly the Italian Peninsula, Balkan Peninsula, and the island of Rhodes in Europe but has also been introduced to other parts of Europe and the rest of the world.
Outside of Europe, this species has been introduced to Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Cape Verde, Cyprus, Fernando Pó, Israel, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mayotte, Morocco, New Zealand, Peru, Réunion, São Tomé, South Africa, the Comoros, the Falk Islands, the Seychelles, Tunesia, and the United States.