Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park is a national park in the southern Sierra Nevada east of Visalia, California, in the United States. It was established on September 25,1890, the park is south of and contiguous with Kings Canyon National Park, the two are administered by the National Park Service together as the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. They were designated the UNESCO Sequoia-Kings Canyon Biosphere Reserve in 1976, the park is famous for its giant sequoia trees, including the General Sherman tree, the largest tree on Earth. The General Sherman tree grows in the Giant Forest, which five out of the ten largest trees in the world. The Giant Forest is connected by the Generals Highway to Kings Canyon National Parks General Grant Grove, the parks giant sequoia forests are part of 202,430 acres of old-growth forests shared by Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Indeed, the preserve a landscape that still resembles the southern Sierra Nevada before Euro-American settlement. Many park visitors enter Sequoia National Park through its entrance near the town of Three Rivers at Ash Mountain at 1,700 ft elevation.
The last California grizzly was killed in this park in 1922, the California Black Oak is a key transition species between the chaparral and higher elevation conifer forest. At higher elevations in the front country, between 5,500 and 9,000 feet in elevation, the landscape becomes montane forest-dominated coniferous belt, found here are Ponderosa, Jeffrey and lodgepole pine trees, as well as abundant white and red fir. Found here too are the giant sequoia trees, the most massive living single-stem trees on earth, between the trees and summer snowmelts sometimes fan out to form lush, though delicate, meadows. In this region, visitors often see deer, Douglas squirrels, and American black bears. There are plans to reintroduce the bighorn sheep to this park, the vast majority of the park is roadless wilderness, no road crosses the Sierra Nevada within the parks boundaries. 84 percent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks is designated wilderness and is only by foot or by horseback. Sequoias backcountry offers a vast expanse of high-alpine wonders, covering the highest-elevation region of the High Sierra, the backcountry includes Mount Whitney on the eastern border of the park, accessible from the Giant Forest via the High Sierra Trail.
On the floor of canyon, at least two days hike from the nearest road, is the Kern Canyon hot spring, a popular resting point for weary backpackers. From the floor of Kern Canyon, the trail ascends again over 8,000 ft to the summit of Mount Whitney, in the summertime, Native Americans would travel over the high mountain passes to trade with tribes to the East. By the time the first European settlers arrived in the area, smallpox had spread to the region. The first European settler to homestead in the area was Hale Tharp, Tharp allowed his cattle to graze the meadow, but at the same time had a respect for the grandeur of the forest and led early battles against logging in the area
Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore is a 71, 028-acre park preserve located on the Point Reyes Peninsula in Marin County, California. As a national seashore, it is maintained by the US National Park Service as an important nature preserve, some existing agricultural uses are allowed to continue within the park. All of the beaches were listed as the cleanest in the state in 2010. The fact that the peninsula is on a different tectonic plate than the east shore of Tomales Bay produces a difference in soils and therefore to some extent a noticeable difference in vegetation. The even smaller town of Olema, about 3 miles south of Point Reyes Station, serves as the gateway to the Seashore and its visitor center, the peninsula includes wild coastal beaches and headlands and uplands. The Seashore administers the parts of the Golden Gate National Recreation area, such as the Olema Valley, the northernmost part of the peninsula is maintained as a reserve for Tule Elk, which are readily seen there. The preserve is very rich in raptors and shorebirds.
The Point Reyes Lighthouse attracts whale-watchers looking for the Gray Whale migrating south in mid-January, the Point Reyes Lifeboat Station is a National Historic Landmark. It is the last remaining example of a rail launched lifeboat station that was common on the Pacific coast and this encompasses 5,965 acres along the coast of Drakes Bay. Kule Loklo, a recreated Coast Miwok village, is a walk from the visitor center. The Point Reyes National Seashore attracts 2.5 million visitors annually, hostelling International USA maintains a 45-bed youth hostel at the Seashore. Point Reyes National Seashore Association, formed in 1964, collaborates with the Seashore on maintenance, like underwater parks, these marine protected areas help conserve ocean wildlife and marine ecosystems. A large shellfish farm raising Japanese oysters, Crassostrea gigas, was located in Drakes Estero until, under court order, Court appeals to keep the operation in place were dropped in December,2014. The farm was purchased by the National Park Service in 1972, a federal law enacted in 2009 authorized, but did not require, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to renew the permit.
The NPS and conservation groups viewed the farm as an inappropriate and environmentally-insensitive use of the estero, the farms supporters argued that it was not ecologically harmful and was important to the local economy. Salazar visited the farm the previous week and phoned the farms owner to give him the news. The oyster farm closure was challenged in U. S. District Court on January 25,2013, the challenge was rejected by a federal court judge, who ruled that the law gave Salazar unfettered discretion to approve or deny a renewal of the permit. The California Coastal Commission voted on February 7,2013 to unanimously approve cease and desist, an attempt to have the appeals court rehear the case was rejected on January 14,2014 and a petition to the United States Supreme Court was denied on June 30,2014
Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park is a national park in the United States. Straddling the border of California and Nevada, located east of the Sierra Nevada, the park protects the northwest corner of the Mojave Desert and contains a diverse desert environment of salt-flats, sand dunes, valleys and mountains. It is the largest national park in the lower 48 states and has declared an International Biosphere Reserve. Approximately 91% of the park is a wilderness area. It is the hottest and lowest of the parks in the United States. The second-lowest point in the Western Hemisphere is in Badwater Basin, the park is home to many species of plants and animals that have adapted to this harsh desert environment. Some examples include creosote bush, bighorn sheep and the Death Valley pupfish, several short-lived boom towns sprang up during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to mine gold and silver. The only long-term profitable ore to be mined was borax, which was transported out of the valley with twenty-mule teams, the valley became the subject of books, radio programs, television series, and movies.
Tourism blossomed in the 1920s, when resorts were built around Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Monument was declared in 1933 and the park was substantially expanded and became a national park in 1994. The natural environment of the area has been shaped largely by its geology, the valley itself is actually a graben. The oldest rocks are metamorphosed and at least 1.7 billion years old. Ancient, shallow seas deposited marine sediments until rifting opened the Pacific Ocean, additional sedimentation occurred until a subduction zone formed off the coast. This uplifted the region out of the sea and created a line of volcanoes, the crust started to pull apart, creating the current Basin and Range landform. Valleys filled with sediment and, during the wet times of glacial periods, with lakes, in 2013, Death Valley National Park was designated as a dark sky park by the International Dark-Sky Association. There are two valleys in the park, Death Valley and Panamint Valley. Both of these valleys were formed within the last few million years, the result of this shearing action is additional extension in the central part of Death Valley which causes a slight widening and more subsidence there.
Uplift of surrounding mountain ranges and subsidence of the floor are both occurring. The uplift on the Black Mountains is so fast that the fans there are small
Pinnipeds, commonly known as seals, are a widely distributed and diverse clade of carnivorous, fin-footed, semiaquatic marine mammals. They comprise the extant families Odobenidae and Phocidae, there are 33 extant species of pinnipeds, and more than 50 extinct species have been described from fossils. While seals were historically thought to have descended from two lines, molecular evidence supports them as a monophyletic lineage. Pinnipeds belong to the order Carnivora and their closest living relatives are bears and musteloids, Seals range in size from the 1 m and 45 kg Baikal seal to the 5 m and 3,200 kg southern elephant seal, which is the largest carnivoran. They have streamlined bodies and four limbs that are modified into flippers, though not as fast in the water as dolphins, seals are more flexible and agile. Otariids use their front limbs primarily to themselves through the water, while phocids. Otariids and walruses have hind limbs that can be pulled under the body, by comparison, terrestrial locomotion by phocids is more cumbersome.
Otariids have visible ears, while phocids and walruses lack these. Pinnipeds have well-developed senses—their eyesight and hearing are adapted for both air and water, and they have a tactile system in their whiskers or vibrissae. Some species are adapted for diving to great depths. They have a layer of fat, or blubber, under the skin to keep warm in the cold water, although pinnipeds are widespread, most species prefer the colder waters of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. They spend most of their lives in the water, but come ashore to mate, give birth, molt or escape predators, like sharks. They feed largely on fish and marine invertebrates, but a few, like the seal, feed on large vertebrates, such as penguins. Walruses are specialized for feeding on bottom-dwelling mollusks, male pinnipeds typically mate with more than one female, although the degree of polygyny varies with the species. The males of land-breeding species tend to mate with a number of females than those of ice- or water-breeding species.
Male pinniped strategies for reproductive success vary between defending females, defending territories that attract females and performing ritual displays or lek mating, pups are typically born in the spring and summer months and females bear almost all the responsibility for raising them. Mothers of some species fast and nurse their young for a short period of time while others take foraging trips at sea between nursing bouts. Walruses are known to nurse their young while at sea, Seals produce a number of vocalizations, notably the barks of California sea lions, the gong-like calls of walruses and the complex songs of Weddell seals
The harbor seal, known as the common seal, is a true seal found along temperate and Arctic marine coastlines of the Northern Hemisphere. The most widely distributed species of pinniped, they are found in waters of the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Harbor seals are brown, silvery white, tan, or gray, an adult can attain a length of 1.85 meters and a mass of 132 kilograms. Blubber under the skin helps to maintain body temperature. Harbor seals stick to familiar resting spots or haulout sites, generally rocky areas where they are protected from weather conditions and predation. Males may fight over mates underwater and on land, females bear a single pup after a nine-month gestation, which they care for alone. Pups can weigh up to 16 kg and are able to swim and they develop quickly on their mothers fat-rich milk and are weaned after four to six weeks. The global population of seals is 350, 000–500,000. Once a common practice, sealing is now illegal in many nations within the animals range, individual harbor seals possess a unique pattern of spots, either dark on a light background or light on a dark.
They vary in color from black to tan or grey. The body and flippers are short, heads are rounded, as with other true seals, there is no pinna. An ear canal may be visible behind the eye, including the head and flippers, they may reach an adult length of 1.85 meters and a weight of 55 to 168 kg. Females are generally smaller than males, there are an estimated 350, 000–500,000 harbor seals worldwide. While the population is not threatened as a whole, the Greenland, Hokkaidō, local populations have been reduced or eliminated through disease and conflict with humans, both unintentionally and intentionally. It is legal to kill seals perceived to threaten fisheries in the United Kingdom and Canada, Seals are taken in subsistence hunting and accidentally as bycatch. Along the Norwegian coast bycatch accounted for 48% of pup mortality, Seals in the United Kingdom are protected by the 1970 Conservation of Seals Act, which prohibits most forms of killing. There are five subspecies of Phoca vitulina, Western Atlantic common seals, P. v. concolor, the validity of this subspecies is questionable, and not supported by genetic evidence.
Ungava seals, P. v. mellonae, are found in eastern Canada in fresh water, Pacific common seals, P. v. richardsi, are located in western North America
Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada in Californias Owens Valley between the towns of Lone Pine to the south and Independence to the north, it is approximately 230 miles north of Los Angeles. Long before the first incarcerees arrived in March 1942, Manzanar was home to Native Americans and miners formally established the town of Manzanar in 1910, but abandoned the town by 1929 after the City of Los Angeles purchased the water rights to virtually the entire area. As different as these groups were, their histories displayed a common thread of forced relocation, the primary focus is the Japanese American incarceration era, as specified in the legislation that created the Manzanar National Historic Site. The site interprets the former town of Manzanar, the days, the settlement by the Owens Valley Paiute. Let us review the main points of the debate, over 120,000 residents of the U. S. A. two thirds of whom were American citizens, were incarcerated under armed guard. There were no crimes committed, no trials, and no convictions, to detain American citizens in a site under armed guard surely constitutes a concentration camp.
But what were the used by the government officials who were involved in the process. Raymond Okamura provides us with a detailed list of terms, lets consider three such euphemisms, evacuation and non-aliens. Earthquake and flood victims are evacuated and relocated, the words refer to moving people in order to rescue and protect them from danger. The official government policy makers consistently used evacuation to refer to the removal of the Japanese Americans. These are euphemisms as the terms do not imply forced removal nor incarceration in enclosures patrolled by armed guards. Hirabayashi went on to describe the harm done by the use of such euphemisms, the harm in continuing to use the governments euphemisms is that it disguises or softens the reality which subsequently has been legally recognized as a grave error. The actions abrogated some fundamental principles underlying the Constitution, the document under which we govern ourselves. This erosion of fundamental rights has consequences for all citizens of our society, some have argued that the Nazi Germany camps during the Holocaust were concentration camps and to refer to the Japanese American camps likewise would be an affront to the Jews.
It is certainly true that the Japanese Americans did not suffer the fate of the Jews in the terrible concentration camps or death camps where Nazi Germany practiced a policy of genocide. Although the loss of life was minimal in Americas concentration camps and Walter Weglyns research concerning Nazi Germanys euphemisms for their concentration camps revealed such phrases as protective custody camps, reception centers, and transit camps. Ironically, two Nazi euphemisms were identical to our governments usage, assembly centers and relocation centers and it might be well to point out, that the Nazis were not operating under the U. S. Constitution. Comparisons usually neglect to point out that Hitler was operating under the rules of the Third Reich
Steller sea lion
The Steller sea lion known as the northern sea lion and Stellers sea lion, is a near threatened species of sea lions in the northern Pacific. It is the member of the genus Eumetopias and the largest of the eared seals. Among pinnipeds, it is inferior in size only to the walrus, the species is named for the naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller, who first described them in 1741. The Steller sea lion has attracted attention in recent decades due to significant. Adult animals are lighter in color than most sea lions, ranging from yellow to tawny. Steller sea lion pups are born almost black, weighing around 23 kg, females and males both grow rapidly until the fifth year, after which female growth slows considerably. Adult females measure 2. 3–2.9 m in length, with an average of 2.5 m, males continue to grow until their secondary sexual traits appear in their fifth to eighth year. Males are slightly longer than the females, they grow to about 2. 82–3.25 m long, males have much wider chests and general forebody structure and weigh 450–1,120 kg, with an average of 544 kg.
Males are further distinguished from females by broader, higher foreheads, flatter snouts, their Latin name translates roughly as maned one with the broad forehead. The range of the Steller sea lion extends from the Kuril Islands and the Sea of Okhotsk in Russia to the Gulf of Alaska in the north and they formerly bred as far south as the Channel Islands, but have not been observed there since the 1980s. In the summer, Steller sea lions tend to shift their range somewhat southward, though no reproductive rookeries are in Japan, several consistent haulouts are found around Hokkaidō in the winter and spring. Vagrants have been spotted in the Yellow Sea and Bohai Gulf and along the coast of Korea, Steller sea lions are skilled and opportunistic marine predators, feeding on a wide range of fish and cephalopod species. Important diet components include walleye pollock, Atka mackerel, herring, flatfish Pacific cod, rockfish and they seem to prefer schooling fish and remain primarily between intertidal zones and continental shelves.
They are known to enter estuarine environments and feed on some fish such as sturgeon. Very occasionally, they have known to prey on northern fur seals, harbor seals. They are near the top of the food chain, but are susceptible to predation by killer whales. Reproductively mature male sea lions aggregate in May on traditional, well-defined reproductive rookeries, the larger, older males establish and defend distinct territories on the rookery. A week or so later, adult females arrive, accompanied occasionally by sexually immature offspring, like all other otariids, Steller sea lions are polygynous
Channel Islands National Park
Channel Islands National Park is a United States national park that consists of five of the eight Channel Islands off the coast of the U. S. state of California, in the Pacific Ocean. Although the islands are close to the shore of densely populated Southern California, the park covers 249,561 acres of which 79,019 acres are owned by the federal government. The Nature Conservancy owns and manages 76% of Santa Cruz Island, Channel Islands National Park is home to a wide variety of significant natural and cultural resources. It was designated a U. S. National Monument on April 26,1938, and it was promoted to a National Park on March 5,1980. Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary encompasses the waters six nautical miles around Channel Islands National Park, the Channel Islands were originally discovered in 1542 by the explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo. In 1938 the Santa Barbara and Anacapa islands were designated a national monument, San Miguel, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz islands were combined with the monument in 1980 to form modern-day Channel Islands National Park.
On January 28,1969 an oil rig belonging to Union Oil experienced a blow-out 6 miles off the coast of California, the resulting spill was, at the time, the largest oil spill to occur in United States territorial waters. Following the spill, tides carried the oil onto the beaches of the Anacapa, San Miguel, Santa Rosa and this spill had a large impact on native wildlife of the Channel Islands. Much of the seabird population was affected, with over an estimated 3,600 avians killed. Meanwhile, seals and other sea life died and washed ashore on both the islands and the mainland and this spill is the third largest oil spill in the United States, only surpassed by the Deepwater Horizon and the Exxon Valdez oil spills. It resulted in a 34,000 acres expansion of the Department of the Interior buffer zone in the channel, the islands within the park extend along the Southern California coast from Point Conception near Santa Barbara to San Pedro, a neighborhood of Los Angeles. Park headquarters and the Robert J.
Lagomarsino Visitor Center are located in the city of Ventura, only three mammals are endemic to the islands, one of which is the deer mouse which is known to carry the sin nombre hantavirus. The spotted skunk and Channel Islands fox are endemic, the island fence lizard is endemic to the Channel Islands. One hundred and forty-five of these species are unique to the islands, Marine life ranges from microscopic plankton to the endangered blue whale, the largest animal on earth. Archeological and cultural resources span a period of more than 10,000 years, the average annual visitation to the parks mainland visitor center was around 300,000 in the period from 2007 to 2016, with 364,807 visiting in 2016. The visitor center is located in the Ventura Harbor Village, the visitor center contains several exhibits that provide information regarding all five islands, native vegetation, marine life and cultural history. Also, visitors can enjoy a film, free of charge. The visitor center is open day, except Thanksgiving and Christmas, from 8, 30AM–5
Great blue heron
It is a rare vagrant to coastal Spain, the Azores, and areas of far southern Europe. An all-white population found only in the Caribbean and Florida was once treated as a separate species, the great blue heron was one of the many species originally described by Carl Linnaeus in his 18th-century work, Systema Naturae. The scientific name comes from Latin ardea, and Ancient Greek erodios and it forms a superspecies with this and with the cocoi heron from South America, which differs in having more extensive black on the head, and a white breast and neck. It has head-to-tail length of 91–137 cm, a wingspan of 167–201 cm, a height of 115–138 cm, in British Columbia, adult males averaged 2.48 kg and adult females 2.11 kg. The feathers on the neck are long and plume-like, it has plumes on the lower back at the start of the breeding season. The bill is yellowish, becoming orange briefly at the start of the breeding season. Immature birds are duller in color, with a dull blackish-gray crown, and the pattern is only weakly defined, they have no plumes.
Among standard measurements, the chord is 43–49.2 cm, the tail is 15. 2–19.5 cm, the culmen is 12. 3–15.2 cm. The herons stride is around 22 cm, almost in a straight line, two of the three front toes are generally closer together. In a track, the front toes, as well as the back, the subspecies differ only slightly in size and plumage tone, with the exception of subspecies A. h. occidentalis, which has a distinct white morph, known as the great white heron. It is found only in south Florida and some parts of the Caribbean, the great white heron differs from other great blues in bill morphology, head plume length, and in having a total lack of pigment in its plumage. It averages somewhat larger than the sympatric race A. h. wardi and may be the largest race in the species. In a survey of A. h. occidentalis in Florida, males were found to average 3.02 kg and females average 2.57 kg and this is mainly found near salt water, and was long thought to be a separate species. Birds intermediate between the normal morph and the white morph are known as Würdemanns heron, these birds resemble a normal great blue with a white head.
The theory that great white herons may be a species from great blue heron has again been given some support by David Sibley. The great white heron could be confused with great egret, but is larger, the reddish egret and little blue heron could be mistaken for the great blue heron, but are much smaller, and lack white on the head and yellow in the bill. In the southern reaches of its range, the great blue sometimes overlaps in range with the closely related, the cocoi is distinguished by a striking white neck and solid black crown, but the duller juveniles are more easily confused. More superficially similar is the slightly smaller grey heron, which may sometimes vagrate to the coasts of North America
Deer are the ruminant mammals forming the family Cervidae. The two main groups are the Cervinae, including the muntjac, the deer and the chital, and the Capreolinae, including the elk, the Western roe deer. Female reindeer, and male deer of all species, grow, in this they differ from permanently horned antelope, which are in the same order, Artiodactyla. The musk deer of Asia and water chevrotain of tropical African and Asian forests are not usually regarded as true deer and form their own families and Tragulidae, respectively. Deer appear in art from Palaeolithic cave paintings onwards, and they have played a role in mythology and their economic importance includes the use of their meat as venison, their skins as soft, strong buckskin, and their antlers as handles for knives. Deer hunting has been a sport since at least the Middle Ages. Deer live in a variety of biomes, ranging from tundra to the tropical rainforest, while often associated with forests, many deer are ecotone species that live in transitional areas between forests and thickets and prairie and savanna.
The majority of deer species inhabit temperate mixed deciduous forest, mountain mixed coniferous forest, tropical seasonal/dry forest. Clearing open areas within forests to some extent may actually benefit deer populations by exposing the understory and allowing the types of grasses, additionally, access to adjacent croplands may benefit deer. However, adequate forest or brush cover must still be provided for populations to grow, fallow deer have been introduced to South Africa. There are species of deer that are highly specialized, and live almost exclusively in mountains, swamps. Some deer have a distribution in both North America and Eurasia. Examples include the caribou that live in Arctic tundra and taiga and moose that inhabit taiga, huemul deer of South Americas Andes fill the ecological niches of the ibex and wild goat, with the fawns behaving more like goat kids. Mountain slope habitats vary from moist coniferous/mixed forested habitats to dry forests with alpine meadows higher up. The foothills and river valleys between the mountain provide a mosaic of cropland and deciduous parklands.
The rare woodland caribou have the most restricted range living at altitudes in the subalpine meadows. Elk and mule deer both migrate between the alpine meadows and lower coniferous forests and tend to be most common in this region, elk inhabit river valley bottomlands, which they share with White-tailed deer. They live in the aspen parklands north of Calgary and Edmonton, the adjacent Great Plains grassland habitats are left to herds of elk, American bison, and pronghorn antelope
Cabrillo National Monument
Cabrillo National Monument is at the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula in San Diego, California. It commemorates the landing of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay on September 28,1542 and this event marked the first time a European expedition had set foot on what became the West Coast of the United States. The site was designated as California Historical Landmark #56 in 1932, as with all historical units of the National Park Service, Cabrillo was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15,1966. The annual Cabrillo Festival Open House is held on a Sunday each October and it commemorates Cabrillo with a reenactment of his landing at Ballast Point, in San Diego Bay. The park offers a view of San Diegos harbor and skyline, as well as Coronado, on clear days, a wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean and Mexicos Coronado Islands are visible. A visitor center screens a film about Cabrillos voyage and has exhibits about the expedition, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse is the highest point in the park and has been a San Diego icon since 1855.
The lighthouse was closed in 1891, and a new one opened at an elevation, because fog. The old lighthouse is now a museum, and visitors may enter it, the area encompassed by the national monument includes various former military installations, such as coastal artillery batteries, built to protect the harbor of San Diego from enemy warships. Many of these installations can be seen walking around the area. A former army building hosts an exhibit that tells the story of history at Point Loma. The area near the monument entrance was used for gliding activities in 1929-1935. Even Charles Lindbergh soared in a Bowlus sailplane along the cliffs of Point Loma in 1930, markers for these accomplishments can be found near the entrance, and the site is recognized as a National Soaring Landmark by the National Soaring Museum. On October 14,1913, by proclamation, Woodrow Wilson reserved 0.5 acres of Fort Rosecrans for The Order of Panama. To construct a statue of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. In 1939 the Portuguese government commissioned a statue of Cabrillo.
The sandstone statue, executed by sculptor Alvaro de Bree, is 14 feet tall, the statue was intended for the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco but arrived too late and was stored in an Oakland, California garage. Then-State Senator Ed Fletcher managed to obtain the statue in 1940 over the objections of Bay Area officials and it was stored for several years on the grounds of the Naval Training Center San Diego, out of public view, and was finally installed at Cabrillo Monument in 1949. The sandstone statue suffered severe weathering because of its position and was replaced in 1988 by a replica made of limestone
Skunks are mammals known for their ability to spray a liquid with a strong odor. Different species of skunk vary in appearance from black-and-white to brown or cream colored, 1630s, from a southern New England Algonquian language seganku, from Proto-Algonquian */šeka, kwa/, from */šek-/ to urinate + */-a, kw/ fox. Skunk has historic use as an insult, attested from 1841, skunk cabbage is attested from 1751, earlier skunkweed. In 1634, a skunk was described in the Jesuit Relations, The other is a low animal, I mention it here, not on account of its excellence, but to make of it a symbol of sin. I have seen three or four of them and it has black fur, quite beautiful and shining, and has upon its back two perfectly white stripes, which join near the neck and tail, making an oval which adds greatly to their grace. The tail is bushy and well furnished with hair, like the tail of a Fox and it is more white than black, and, at the first glance, you would say, especially when it walks, that it ought to be called Jupiters little dog.
But it is so stinking, and casts so foul an odor, no sewer ever smelled so bad. I would not have believed it if I had not smelled it myself, I believe the sin smelled by Saint Catherine de Sienne must have had the same vile odor. Skunk species vary in size from about 15.6 to 37 in long and they have moderately elongated bodies with relatively short, well-muscled legs and long front claws for digging. Although the most common fur color is black and white, some skunks are brown or grey, all skunks are striped, even from birth. They may have a thick stripe across back and tail. Some have stripes on their legs, skunks are omnivorous, eating both plant and animal material and changing their diets as the seasons change. They eat insects and larvae, grubs, lizards, frogs, birds and they commonly eat berries, leaves, grasses and nuts. In settled areas, skunks seek garbage left by humans, less often, skunks may be found acting as scavengers, eating bird and rodent carcasses left by cats or other animals.
Pet owners, particularly those of cats, may experience a skunk finding its way into a garage or basement where pet food is kept, skunks commonly dig holes in lawns in search of grubs and worms. Skunks are one of the predators of the honeybee, relying on their thick fur to protect them from stings. The skunk scratches at the front of the beehive and eats the guard bees that come out to investigate, mother skunks are known to teach this behavior to their young. Skunks are crepuscular and solitary animals when not breeding, though in the parts of their range