Monday, March 24, 2008

The Holiday Weekend

Last week I whined a bit about how the forest around me isn’t all that pretty right now. Spring hasn’t sprung, vegetatifully (new word!) speaking yet, so I am surrounded by winter’s bareness without snow to soften its appearance. This weekend, however, I discovered some of the benefit of that. The animals and birds are very active right now, and I can see them easily, far deeper into the forest than I will be able to see in another few weeks.

My first visitor was a red-tailed hawk that glided down past the upstairs window, so close that I wondered if it had been sitting on the house roof. An adult bird, its wings and tail feathers were fully spread as it swooped down from above, then zig-zagged through the trees. The bird’s appearance immediately created an uproar in the forest. Crows came out of nowhere, and blue jays eating at my feeders immediately abandoned their feast and went on the alert. The Redtail landed in an oak at the edge of the lane, but not for long. Titmice soon joined the fray, and so many birds were now convening on the tree where the Redtail sat that I couldn’t count them all. The harried raptor soon left, and the local birds returned to whatever they were doing.

Another visitor was a huge raccoon that appeared on my front deck. A bag of cat food tore as I was bringing it, and I was still inside taping up the torn bag when Baby Dog exploded with rage. I looked outside and saw the raccoon already at work on the spilled cat food, though I hadn’t left it unattended for more than 5 minutes.

I opened the door, and the raccoon retreated up a tree just off the driveway. I went inside to get the camera but the raccoon took the opportunity to escape, galloping up the lane towards who knows where.

All in all, it was a very active weekend around the cabin between the birds and the animals, I won’t whine anymore about the bare forest, when the antics that I see are better than anything on TV.

My photo this morning proves that I do, at least occasionally, come off the mountain and go down into the valley. Sunday was a cloudless day, and the views across to the next valley were perfect.


Lynne said...

That's a lovely photo. It's funny that the raccoon got after the cat food so quickly. Don't you wonder how often wildlife is around us, watching, and we just don't see it?
Eagles are on the move north. I live in the Minneapolis metro area and I saw 6 bald eagles just over the weekend, very near the busy freeway. I wonder how many people, rushing about, noticed these magnificent birds.

Dana Jones said...

I usually like the subtle tones of winter, but I'm aching to see spring too.A dot here and there is all I could find. Give it another week in my area, maybe two and it'll be a wonderland of color and scents.

Glad you have the weekends off now.

dguzman said...

We got three inches of snow on Saturday, then full sun yesterday and today--but temps are still rather chilly. And no fox sparrows yet! How about you? Have you seen any migrants yet?

Carolyn H said...

Lynne: no one was more surprised than I (well, maybe Baby Dog) that the raccoon showed up so quickly

Dana: I'm a good 4-5 weeks from actually seeing much in the way of spring, I'm afraid.

Dguzman: I had snow on Saturday, but not 3 inches, and it was gone in a few hours. No fox sparrows here yet, either, only the phoebe so far.

Carolyn H.