|No name creek, still running full after the rain, near my cabin|
Though roaring no longer, the wind is still blowing and sometimes gusting. Suddenly 25 degrees seems very cold. A snow squall this morning gave me a brief moment of hope that my windblown items would be covered by snow, negating the need to find them all this morning. However, the squall soon cleared, and instead of retreating to the warmth of the cabin, I continued my hunt.
I discovered the deer are still eating my juniper bush, even though the snow cover disappeared with yesterday’s rain. Someone told me once that deer only eat juniper bushes when nothing else is available, when snow cover is very deep. Someone should tell that to the local deer, as their muddy hoof prints, newly frozen, and the skinned bush belie that tale.
Wintry weather does not dampen the spirits of two the forest’s inhabitants. The northern cardinal has started singing in earnest again, and the Carolina wren never stopped. The wren is the earliest rising of the winter residents. I’ve heard one singing when the morning is still just half a step away from being fully dark.
The raccoon has reappeared, usually at 3 a.m. when I am awakened by Baby Dog’s howls of outrage. One good thing about mid-winter is that they disappear for a while. Not true hibernators, they do den up and stay in their dens during the coldest part of winter. I’m sort of hoping that their reappearance is temporary, and that the colder weather chases them back into their dens. I sleep better when they are not around. Or when I remember to bring the birdfeeder inside for the night.