The mornings are still too dark, really, for me to be taking photos for Roundtop Ruminations before I leave for work. But I can’t help myself. The day is brightening, and I don’t really like taking a week’s worth of photos over the weekend. So today’s photo is a bit washed out and certainly gray, but it also marks a small milestone—the first photo taken in the morning again as the days lengthen.
The snow cover helps. Without that, I likely wouldn’t be able to take morning photos for perhaps another few weeks. Today, I am enjoying the last day of “warmth” before the temperature nose dives again. Today, even at my cabin, the temperature will likely reach and perhaps just inch above the freezing mark for the first time since last weekend. And better yet, the wind this morning was little more than a breeze, so I and the dogs actually got a half-decent walk. We all needed that.
Although the snow isn’t deep at the moment, it is already proving to be harsh on the deer around the cabin. Usually they don’t resort to eating my juniper bush until late February or early March. They are already nibbling on it, a sure sign that natural food is scarce as juniper bushes aren’t known as a deer’s favorite meal.
About half a mile or so beyond the cabin is a small field where I counted 15 deer the other night, far more than I’ve seen at any one time there. They poked in the snow with their hooves, looking for the grass underneath to browse. It’s the kind of work that appears to me to be more calorie intensive than it would be worth, but they were hungry enough to do it anyway. Usually, this is the kind of activity I see later in the winter, so if this year doesn’t produce a thaw or three, I predict hard times ahead for the forest’s animals.
I know I wouldn’t be wanting to try and find food enough to keep me alive through the winter in the woods right now.