Life in a cabin on a mountain in southern Pennsylvania
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Old snow on Roundtop
Although there isn’t yet much time between dawn and when I leave for work in the mornings, I saw a lot of activity in that short time. A fox was crossing the hill above the cabin early on, a smaller one with a lovely tail, perhaps a shade of red slightly paler than average. It saw me and continued across the hill, slinking close to the ground but moving quickly. Ah, that explains while the two semi-feral Roundtop cats weren’t waiting for their handouts when I first stepped out the door. They were waiting for that predator to clear the area first.
The local Canada geese are still annoyed at any visitors that dare appear at the smaller pond they’ve designated as “theirs.” Four deer fled to the edge of woods and blended in with the trees and shrubs there.
Distant deer in the field
Is it the sleet and rain that will come later today that has the forest so active this morning? It wouldn’t surprise me if they sense the coming bad weather and feel the need to fill their bellies before they seek shelter from the storm.
I learn a lot from the local animals. I don’t have the sharp senses they possess, but by watching their behavior I can take advantage of what they are sensing. I find many people are more focused on seeing an animal than on paying attention to what it is doing and why. It’s all about them and their seeing, and not about looking at what they are seeing. Perhaps that’s because they don’t see the animals often enough to think about life from the animals’ point of view. Perhaps they simply aren’t observant enough or interested enough to go beyond the seeing of a thing. Perhaps that inability to shift their point of view is where the phrase “dumb animal” comes from. If you’ve ever watched an animal, instead of merely seen it, you’ll know they are far from dumb. Some days, I think I am the dumb one.
I live in a cabin in the forests of Pennsylvania. I write about what I see and do in the natural world around me. I've been a hawkwatcher for more than 20 years, a birder for longer than that, and a crayfish-catcher since I was a polywog.