It was -4° F and quite windy at the house in the morning; the TV weather folks sounded like it would be dangerous to even open the door – that anyone who did so would be instantly frozen solid. Makes you wonder how anyone survived in the days before central heating.
Birds, except for their internal furnace don’t have central heating but do wear layers of down, were busy getting fuel at the feeders –
|American Goldfinch - male acquiring breeding colors|
Since there’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing, I donned a couple layers of fleece, my old Bean boots, a warm hat, leather chopper mitts with wool liners and headed for the Big Woods.
The sky was crystal clear, the snow brilliant white and, except for the wind in the tall pines, quiet prevailed.
Another inch of snow fell early the previous evening so it was easy to see what wildlife had been moving about during the night:
White-footed mice had risked their lives to dash across the top of the snow –
Every predator – hawks, screech and barred owls, fox, coyote, weasel and bobcat – in the Big Woods is on the lookout for mice. But the only sign of the predators was the trail of a bobcat that emerged from an area of dense shrubs to cross the old woods road.
Then it was time to head for home and lunch – a bowl of warm soup, not a mouse.