Sunday, 20 January 2013

A New Year and New Season

Snows and Cold

Only after Christmas was celebrated and over, did it feel like we have entered a new time with our move into the house. The activity and bustle of Christmas, as enjoyable a break it is, upsets any routine and project work for about a month. Added to that, the season decided to remain warm and white-less. January brought in a freeze where we were finally convinced the winter had arrived and behind that the snows spread their carpet. With the tree unclothed from the ornaments and everything put away, my spouse and I braved the harsh cold and dragged the tree into the tree line to end its life where it began. 

Black Headed Chickadees
The birds have made a steady flight path to the feeder and tracks are always present from the pheasants to and from the feeder and into the woods. I’m especially intrigued with the circling motion made with the tracks around the feeder as if circling the pole is requisite for dining. The hawk arrived a few more times and lately an eagle has made the bare trees its station overlooking the fields. Snowmobile tracks carve a line down the far field to the drive and off along the road. Our neighbours were given permission because this has been a long time route for them and they are discrete and do not bother us by nearing the house or covering the whole of the fields. Our neighbour has also begun plowing our drive and we noticed he went of the track at one point. His speed with the truck is ominous as he comes up and down and disappears. We do have some driveway markers up but the pure while of the whole wide field can leave you astray from the edges of the drive after a snow fall. My spouse found collateral damage after the plow left in the form of a mouse in the drive. We have noticed mouse holes in the snow out in the field. Hiding in the snow may work against large flying prey but not a speedy plow.

Light  on Snow
I encourage the more mice taken by the birds because it is obvious a farmers hay field will have these rodents in numbers. My daughter discovered this after writing off her vehicle on a mountain road recently. The suspension let go suddenly in her vehicle but her cool head kept control and no one was hurt. The wrecking yard employees were intrigued with the nest in her wheel well and the bird seed shells left in large numbers. The car had become a home but I guess the mouse had left before the crash or definitely was left behind on the mountain. We check our cars now and are cautious leaving doors open in the house and garage. One morning as my husband was filling the feeder, a mouse jumped out from inside where he had nested despite a squirrel and the birds eating at the feeder. Maybe our victim of the plow was this former resident. We are giving a little more time to the birds to help them out but if we seem to be making our rodent population fat, the feeders will have to come down. The feeders were removed after a second vehicle was discovered to have a nest in the heater box. They will have to take care of their own needs as before, but I do miss watching the birds and photographing their visits.

Bright Day

When the freeze hit after Christmas our excursions into the woods and outdoors were limited. Promises of warmer temperatures and this new blanket of snow will have us out again in the woods for pictures of white carpeting in the trees. And I hope to paint the West River now that I see it freezes as well and the colours of streaking grays through the surface interest me. My grandson’s new sled should also be hitting the long slope from the house to the creek very soon now. I would expect that to be quite a thrill for him and await the day. Meanwhile the white fields and the tracks left each day are of a constant interest to me. I’m glad it also seems our herd of deer made it safely through the hunting season. With the seasonal festivities over with and as we settle into the winter regiment, we are relaxing and finally enjoying our daily activities and awaking to each new day with intrigue.

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