Monday, February 27, 2006

Winter Still (has) Life

A snowy surprise overnight. While I was walking the dogs last night, I felt the gentle kiss of snow flurries on my face, reminding me that winter still has some life left. Yesterday I groused about skiers asking when the mountain would close. Their constant questions had the unconscious effect of making me feel that the end of winter is already here. So last night was a sweet little reminder that it isn’t.

And then to solidify winter’s presence, this morning I woke up to about half an inch of beautiful new snow on the ground. Ah, winter!

I had the full group of birdfeeder visitors this morning. They remind me of people running to the store for bread, milk and videos in anticipation of a predicted snowstorm. All four cardinals were there, as was the white-throated sparrow. I had a carpet of juncos on the deck, and the blue jays roared in en masse like a group of B52 bombers strafing the woods. The rest of the usual suspects also joined the party.

New snow gives me a great chance to see what animals are around in the woods. I was no sooner off the deck when I found that a rabbit had crossed the driveway sometime after the snow stopped. Dog stuck his nose deep into each track, inhaling what must be to him a delicious scent. Three deer crossed the lane, as well, one quite small, no doubt one of last year’s fawns. I looked for signs of raccoons, as I suspect at least one is raiding the food I put out for the semi-feral local cats. I didn’t see those tracks.

I also looked for signs of wild turkey, as locally there have been a lot around this year, but to no avail. Do you think I could put turkey on my yard list if I find their tracks, but don’t see or hear them? Birders typically count heard birds as sightings, but I don’t know that I’ve ever heard anyone discuss if tracks count as a “sighting.” Anyway, the question is moot until I actually find any tracks.

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