Monday, February 23, 2009

Busy little Carolina wren

The forest animals on Roundtop Mountain were busier this weekend than I’ve noticed in a while. The pine siskins that arrived late to my feeders have made up for that by hanging around all winter and visiting every day. The Carolina wren—I never see two at the same time, though certainly more than one is around—has also been a more regular visitor than it was earlier in the winter.

Yesterday, I saw a small, fuzzy deer peeking at me from around the edge of a thicket. Judging by its small size, it was one of last year’s fawns. I’ve heard what I’m pretty sure is this same deer several times. When I walk Dog and Baby Dog late in the evening, I’ve heard it near the cabin stamping or trotting away deeper into the woods through the dry leaves. Every now and again Baby Dog will let out a bark while staring into the woods. I suspect she has scented it and is announcing that she has done so.

I typically don’t see this fuzzy little deer with other deer, which is unusual. It should still be with mom or sibling or aunt. It looks healthy enough, not to mention cute as all get out in its winter coat. It is quite curious and when I’m out without the dogs, I occasionally see it. It never acts too wary and if anything, it looks as though it wants to play.

Black vultures, the more southerly cousins of the more ubiquitous Turkey vulture, are now gliding overhead again on sunny days.

The animals take advantage of every warm and sunny day to get out and about. No longer do weeks pass with them and me holed up in a warm spot. Winter isn’t over, but the sun is now stronger and warmer than it was just a week or so. There’s a sense that the days of unending cold with no immediate hope of a warm-up are passing. Oh, it will be cold again before spring, but even on cold days the sun feels warm. For today, that’s enough.


The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

I was just sitting at my desk, looking out at the seed feeder which hangs under the eave beyond the window, watching a Carolina wren peck about for breakfast. The morning sun was shining bright on the wren, and as always, I got to admiring the rich warm brown of the little bird's feathers—and I was thinking, I ought to take a photo of that wren and write something about it for my blog, even though I've written several other blog entries on wrens.

You bet me to the punch. Ha!

I am surprised about the vultures. There's a buzzard roost (turkey vultures, we seldom see black vultures here) across the river from the cottage, but no birds have yet returned from their southern vacation. Mid-March is when I expect them, maybe a week before if the weather is good.

We had a dusting of snow yesterday and it was 12 degrees today at sunrise. So still winter, officially and actually. Patience remains the watchword.

Lynne said...

I've noticed the increased warmth of the sun too. Even with our single digit temps I can feel the difference.

Carolyn H said...

TGBSISH: I had almost 20 at the cabin this morning. Tomorrow will be colder, perhaps 15. Still cold enough but the noonday sun feels pretty good again! I begin to see turkey vultures again on the first warm day in February. The black vultures were a bit of a surprise. Usually I don't see them until March. They were heading north, too, not just tooling around.

Lynne: It's amazing how much that warmer sun makes a difference--at least by the middle of the day.

Carolyn H.

forest wisdom said...

Gotta love that busy little Carolina Wren. What a cutie.

I'm sure you know well what a fortunate one you are to live where you do.

I faithfully check in here to vicariously get a little of what you have each day. Even if I don't always comment.

Peace to you

Carolyn H said...

Forest wisdom: Yes, I know I'm lucky to live here. It's a bit like winning the lottery. Perhaps someday I'll tell the story of how I happened to be able to get this cabin, as that was a series of fortunate events that won't be repeated again anytime soon.

Carolyn H.