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.