Winter Does Not Want to Let Go.

1. grey weatherIMG_6871Grey grey, Wind wind.  Endless cold.  Nothing seems to be moving.  Most of the earlier pussy willows have budded, but nothing is in flower yet.

2 pussy willowsHowever, searches among the long winter grasses show signs of life.  The inevitable dandelions.

3 dandelionsAnd even the first chives.

4 chivesThis is the time of year that the mistletoe thrives.

5 mistletoeOne morning I thrilled to a very loud, harsh, ringing croak.  That wonderful prehistoric sound of sandhill cranes.

7 cranesThey are abundant further north, but here not seen so often so it was a real treat.

8 flying cranesThe next day it snowed.

9a more snowThe ice stays stubbornly on the ponds.

9 snowRecently, the feeder has been visited by a crow.

10 crowI don’t see them a lot, ravens are more common.  Then there were 2 crows. They hung about quite a bit so I wondered if they were going to nest nearby.  Then, everytime I looked out of the window, there was another crow and I ended up with 5.

11 crowThey are entertaining birds but I have had to re-organize the feeders so they cannot gobble everything up too fast.

One day I was enormously surprised to see this guy trundling purposefully over my bare dirt yard.  He was 2″ long – I don’t know what he will turn into.  (I say “he”, but are insects programmed for gender at this stage or does the selection happen in the pupa?)

11a wooly caterpillerFor weeks, the automated weather station at Puntzi has been promising 2 days of cool, showery weather with an improvement on the third.  Heatwaves have been foretold.  But every day, we still have 2 more days of cool, showery weather (we did get a bit of rain on one day.)  Yesterday the forecast predicted sunshine for today and night temperatures above freezing as well as hot days.  When the sky cleared yesterday evening, it looked as though the good weather was finally here to stay.

12.  Evening.Suddenly, most of the ice was gone: even though the wind was gusty and cold, I felt sure the ice would disappear today. The creatures were loving this new, open water.

Mallards.

13 mallardsBarrows Goldeneyes

16 barrows GoldeneyeAnd a muskrat.

17 muskrat 1

 

18 muskrat 2I had made it harder for the crows to get at the feeder, but nothing much stops the squirrel.

13 squirrel 1

 

14 squirrel 2

 

15 squirrel 3It was such a beautiful evening that I was convinced we would have good weather today.  But this morning the pond was completely frozen over , and it is back to grey skies and cold, cold wind.

 

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2 thoughts on “Winter Does Not Want to Let Go.”

  1. Talk about timing! That last picture of the squirrel raiding the feeder is a prize winner. You should think about submitting it to a contest. There’s lots of them out there.
    I love it.

  2. I battle the squirrels here too, they are too smart and agile. I love catching a glimpse of, and hearing the Cranes, we spotted them at a little alkalai lake close to our place once. One year when we came up in May for a brief visit and went out to our peninsula I saw lots of Wilson’s Warblers-so neat to see all of those little yellow birds.
    I hope the weather settles down, we are planning to come up for Jim’s memorial service on the 17th. We will be staying with friend’s on Horn Lake and it would be nice to hike out to our place while we’re there.

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