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I'm a woman entering "the third chapter" and fascinated by the journey.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Winter visitors (again)

      Wasn't it just winter?  It's here again?  Although mid-December seems WAY too soon for all the snow we've been getting, this kind of weather does bring its compensations.
  • You can see who's been where. 
      Most noticeable, of course, are the hoofprints.  Not Donner and Blitzen, but the infamous North Parkersburg Deer Herd, several of whose members came very close to taking on a line of cars last night on Fairview Avenue. Fortunately, the lead cars in both lanes (one of which was mine) were able to stop, deer ran off in various directions, and we all went on our merry way. But the most casual glance out any window reveals lines of hoofprints criss-crossing the yard--
heading straight up the hill from Roseland Avenue, continuing up the side yard in the general direction of Hamilton Middle School, making random curves leading nowhere in particular, and concentrating near all the bird feeders looking for leftover seed.  It is obvious that these deer are fearless: one print was six inches from the patio door, and not even the barking of Lucy the Loud Labrador keeps them from the feeders near the neighbor's fence.  We're wondering if the deer have already exhausted the massive crop of acorns dumped on the back yard, or if they're simply saving them for later. 
      More welcome than the hoofprints are all the bird tracks.  I can't tell the difference between the toeprints of a finch and a sparrow, but we definitely have lots of little feathered somebodies looking for food in all kinds of places. New spots for birdfeeders, perhaps?

  • Winter visitors return.  The winter flocks of juncos are present in abundance, and the wrens are visiting the feeders that they mostly ignore in warmer weather.  

  • Light on snow.  Does anyone else love the way that night is never really dark when the ground is covered with snow?

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