24 01 2007

Fresh pow

Nothing gets an avid snow-lover riled up like a fresh coat of light fluffy snow with the opportunity for freshies, and Monday night’s white deluge made me awaken with a smile. There will be the inevitable nay-sayers who say, “Nay, a deluge?! One to two inches is not a deluge!”. My reply is that this winter has changed my perspective about everything, and I will rejoice at the tiniest smattering of “the goods” upon the ground.

A squirrel’s travels

And there is good evidence to suggest that I am not the only one enjoying it: squirrels, undaunted by the thin layer, made radical tracks across any available surface, securing their bids for fresh pow-pow. The juncos and white-throated sparrows hopped amid death cookies along the pond edges while white-tailed deer moseyed through the frozen pond’s white room, their tracks marauding slowly like beginners on the bunny slope.

Deer on Sapsucker Woods pond

Speaking of bunnies, their loping tracks revealed their preference for the bushy runs, effectively partitioning the woodland environment with the tree-run-shredding raccoons.

And of course there are the aerial acrobatics of the chickadees and titmice. Each buoyant bounce from branch-to-branch flight belied a serious craving for the white stuff, and they seemed to take a special pleasure in the numerous face shots resulting from knocking the thin two-inch high coatings to smithereens upon landing.

Chickadee landing zone

The only ones left out of the powder party were the woodpeckers, who spent the morning banging away at the trees in pursuit of extreme vertical terrain, thanks to their zygodactyl toes.


a cold birdy morning

21 01 2007

Cold weather brings the birds out of the woodwork, and my feeders are advantageously situated right next to the woodwork in question. I took some video clips with my digital camera (hence the poor quality) and pasted them together into this two-minute montage for those of you who may not have a feeder nearby to watch…(thanks to Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto for the warming soundtrack).

Eat your heart out, Natty Geo & BBC!

beechy whispers

19 01 2007

winter beeches
A quiet walk during the last lighted moments can bring subtle perspective, especially after a dusting of snow illuminates and insulates the surroundings. On one such walk yesterday all was quiet and oddly light though well after sunset. A cool breeze curled its way through the tops of the trees, eliciting moans and creaks of protest from old sleepy hickories and stately oaks. Closer to the trail, nearer to my ear, a conspicuous whisper whisked past, causing me to stop and turn, searching for its source. Crinkled and curled, the orange leaves still clinging on the beech understory stared back at me, sussurating in the gloaming.