"Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens."

Carl Jung


On The Nightstand
  • Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver
    Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver
  • A Wolf Called Romeo
    A Wolf Called Romeo
  • The Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature's Great Connectors
    The Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature's Great Connectors

Winter World

There's no doubt that this winter season has started off with a huge white bang. Storm after storm has repeatedly dumped major precipitation on our area, at times making travel precarious and more than a bit hazardous. We''ve had extremely cold temperatures for this time of year and the weather is already taking a toll on the local wildlife. The snow was so deep earlier this week that it was up over the bellies of the yearling deer and squirrels have now become aboreal creatures, avoiding the ground whenever possible.

While out viewing area rivers earlier this week, we came across many wild turkeys that were walking down the plowed roadsides- they refused to fly into the deep snow, despite the oncoming traffic, and we sadly viewed a few carcasses that told the story without words. (My hubby always moves them off the road so wildlife that is drawn to the roadkill won't become roadkill as well)  The same can be said for Ring-necked Pheasants and most other gamebirds. We've viewed more pheasants this past two weeks than we have most of the year- all walking down the middle/sides of roads. When snow becomes this deep, it's not only difficult for wildlife to get around, it's also difficult for them to find sources of food.  When salt trucks hit the roads, large swirling  flocks of Snow Buntings and others gather around the salt/grit mix hungrily.  Since we're in an area where there are plenty of dairy farms that routinely spread manuer over the snowcovered fields, we're seeing good numbers of birds around these areas, especially Horned Larks. The manuer provides much needed nourishment.

We viewed the tell-tale tracks of river otters and fox and the nearby white pines held a few busy Golden-crowned Kinglets.  Several Ruffed Grouse were feeding on small buds in the taller reaches of the trees that line the riverbank, and we spotted one lone Hermit Thrush. So despite the hardships, our winter-world is quite beautiful, and quite full of delightful sights and sounds. (I'm still ready for spring though!) ;)





 "Man's heart away from nature becomes hard."

(Standing Bear)


What Cheer!

We now have 2 pairs of adult Northern Cardinals here and it's a rare treat for me to view them for any length of time.   They're so very shy and timid, spooking at the slightest noise or movement.  Despite the appearance of a very persistant Northern Shrike, the feeders were hopping with activity all day. I grabbed a few images through the windows, since I'm still quite weak and our temps were a balmy 15 degrees at most.  My housekeeper/helper pitched in and dug many of my holiday decorations out of packing this afternoon, which I greatly appreciated. I now have greenery, lights and the usual fare placed both outdoors and in- but I had a difficult time pulling myself away from the views out my windows, and turned  'The Nutcracker Suite' down in hopes of hearing the sweet calls of our own seedcrackers.  We're already hearing the mating calls of our resident Great Horned Owls, but I can count on one hand the times I've viewed them during the daylight hours here.  (Another good reason to stay close to the windows- I'm way overdue for an owl sighting)

I also received a very welcomed update on the wayward Whooping Crane yesterday evening: ' Whooping Crane 44-07 transmitter was detected Nov. 18 near Antwerp, Paulding Co., OH and again on the 19th. Since then there has been no reading so the transmitter may have malfunctioned.'  I truly hope that is the case and hope to hear more on that most special bird in the future.

This has been one of the most restful days I've had in a great while. I have a very comfortable hospital bed at home now, and can finally lay down without re-cracking my broken ribs.  Phoebe's new dog bed arrived today and she seems to like it- she's actually sleeping on it , whereas in the past she treated her bedding like a big chew toy and destroyed at least 3 of them.  Progress! 

My hubby has a warm fire crackling in the fireplace and the smell of fresh pine throughout the house is just heavenly.  In a season where so many tie themselves in virtual knots because of the commercial aspect of the holidays,  I find great comfort in the simple pleasures that all bring so much good cheer.  I prefer red feathers over red bows.