Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Nature's Ice Sculpture (Weird)

Who am I to call Grandmother Nature’s ice sculptures weird? Perhaps I’m just not able to appreciate her handiwork in all its complexity. Interesting? Of course, but the artistry needs a bit of work, in my opinion.

Winter made a brief visit to the mountain this weekend, with temperatures dipping below the ‘teens overnight and that made even worse both by a substantial wind and the rapid drop from above normal temperatures. Our bodies just aren’t made to get used to quick changes in temperatures.

Never fear! Winter wasn’t moving in after all, just checking out the accommodations (and apparently finding them not to her liking) because today the weather is warmer again.

The warm winter is having an adverse effect on my sleeping. Not because I toss and turn. Oh, no. It’s because the raccoons are still around and attempting to forage in my bird feeders at night. Last night Pig the raccoon (or its latest incarnation) attempted the raid five different times. That means Baby Dog’s wild barking woke me up five different times, and both meant I had to go to the door, turn on the light and save the day by shooing Pig off the deck and away from the feeders.

Pig is not the dumbest raccoon on the block as each attempt was slightly different. The first time was the straight on approach across the deck railing. The second was the most inventive, mounting the assault from a nearby tree. Pig was balanced precariously on a branch that was much too small for his girth. That attack never would have worked, even had I not shushed him away. The branch would have broken or Pig would have fallen or simply been forced to retreat.

The next time, the assault came from up the stairs, as though tiptoeing across the deck was the answer. That didn’t work either. The next time was an assault up the railing of my raised deck. Truthfully, I’ve forgotten what happened the last time. By then I was a bit punchy from the constant awakenings.

Tonight? The birds will have to do without their crack-of-dawn feeding tomorrow morning, because that feeder will not be outside overnight.


Grace said...

Indeed, those are interesting ice scupltures.The one in the middle looks like some weird upside down alien from behind!

Sorry to hear about your racoon troubles. I haven't had any at my feeders yet--knock on wood!

Cthy said...

Where did you take that photo. Kinda look like it the root system of tree that fell down. Make a few change in the color and you have a great abstract picture too.

Carolyn H said...

Cathy: I took the photo at Roundtop at a pathetic little stream that's running enough to just stay open. The stream is only about 12 inches wide. It was hidden in a tangle of underbrush, but I saw a flash of white and went to investigate, nearly falling a couple of times to get there because it wasn't always solid ground under the tangle and I couldn't tell where it was solid and where it wasn't. This is probably a whole lot more than you wanted to know

Carolyn H said...

Grace: The ice scupltures are small, perhaps 10 inches tall and as much wide. It was a tiny stream. No raccoons last night. The feeder was inside, and I got a good night's sleep!

Scott said...

I think that the birds will survive a few minutes with no food until you get up and re-hang the feeder, Carolyn. For your (and Baby Dog's) sanity, taking in the feeder was the best move.

Beth Niquette said...

Heehee--I love this photo, almost as much as I enjoyed reading about the escapades of Pig the Racoon! LOL

We had nightly raids of our fish pond until my husband, genius that he is, found a way to string a metal wire with a mild charge around the pond. They had one bout with it and have only been back once--that's when the electricity went off. How they knew is anyone's guess!

Smart they are!