Monday, January 5, 2009

LIGHT RAIN FORECAST, and MORE WINTER VISITORS

Although we did have a handful of days in December that were wild and cold, I have to say that winter hasn’t been bad so far. Of course, we may do some hard time yet before it’s over, but for now what snow we’ve had has been mostly washed away by the winter rain (along with some thunder!) and the piled-up ice on the lake, though still solid enough for foxes, is starting the buckle and shrink.


Over the last couple of days I’ve had some visitors. Yesterday a red fox ventured out on the frozen lake. I glimpsed him just as he disappeared behind an ice ridge, then he must have taken a nap – he didn’t re-emerge for almost 2 hours! I kept checking, hoping to see him jump up again and get his picture taken. Just when I was sure I’d missed him, there he was, patrolling the ice, perhaps hoping to catch an unwary gull, or maybe a fish that a gull had dropped on the ice. I took a couple of quick photos through the window before he disappeared yet again. I was hoping he’d come back one more time, and closer, and I’d try to get better ones, this time from outside. Would he hear me, or see me – and run?

Beneath the birdfeeders in the lilac bush I saw a little brown bunny! It fed for a while on the spilled seed, and then scampered off behind the neighbor’s bushes. I hope it’s a female. I hope she pops out a litter like one did two summers ago. I loved watching the little ones keep out of the rain under the pussy-willow bush I planted, crop dandelions and nibble the baby carrots I’d put out for them. I also had a bird stop by that I didn’t expect to see – a Carolina wren. I guess the birdwatching section of my brain is still set on “Alberta” where there no wren in its right mind would stick around for winter. But here, so much further south, I see from the range map in my field guide that we do have Carolina’s all year ‘round.

Across from the lilac is a small stoop where I deposited a summer planter than I didn’t get emptied before the dirt inside froze. A mourning dove, who may have sensed his time had come, wedged himself between the planter and the siding, and quietly died. I tilted the pot enough to see his undisturbed perfect feathers – they always remind me of clouds and moonlight – and then replaced it. Some scavenger will probably carry him away before long, it’s nature’s way, but for now I won’t move him from the place he chose.



I continued to watch the fox as he wandered to the top of the furthest ice ridge (too distant for my camera) where he curled up for another nap – a small dark dot in the gray-and-white landscape. I kept checking on him as I typed, camera at the ready if he should saunter closer to shore, but after another half-hour, I was startled to look up and find that everything had disappeared behind a veil of fog. Perhaps the fox was still out there, with his bushy tail curled around him, smiling slyly over the sleight of invisibility he’d pulled off.

18 comments:

bobbie said...

I love your word pictures. Enjoyed your picture of the fox on ice at the top of your post. I believe you had another photo near the bottom, but it didn't appear for me. Still, your words did the job.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Great pictures, Deb.. Seeing the red fox on the ice/snow was an amazing picture.

It's foggy and cool here today (39 degrees). We're supposed to get LOTS of rain the next couple of days. We've had NO snow yet---so I love seeing pictures of your snow up there.

Have a great day.
Hugs,
Betsy

Sylvia K said...

I always love when you write about what you see in "your world"! You create such a delightful picture, soft, gauzy, beautiful, fragile and they always touch that special place inside me. We had five inches of snow last night, then it warmed up and all of it is well on it's way to wherever thawed snowflakes go.

Kallen305 said...

Fantastic post. I love the first photo with the fox. I hope you bunny is there to stay and will give you more this spring!

Lin said...

fun wintery experience, felt like I was right there seeing it with you. brrr...

mom/caryn said...

I also enjoyed the pictures your words splayed out before me. Your description was as soft and fragile as a soap bubble.

You live in a world of magnificent beauty. Fortunately, you have the poets soul that allows you to savor it.

I think looking out a window near the hearth of a well stoked fire, and taking in the view of an icy landscape and the critters that inhabit it is a wonder.

Thank you for sharing this morning with us.

Rose said...

Great post Deborah...I keep wanting to call you Deb...I see Betsy did. I wondered if you cared one way or the other. One of my childhood friends is a Deb so it has good associations for me.

Avid Reader said...

very nice post. I see a grey fox every once in a while, but this is great - patrolling the ice. I'd love to live so very close to a lake or river. or the Atlantic Ocean ...my yard is filled with bunny tracks in the snow, but no sightings. We have so many places for them to hide (tall grasses, weedy areas)


a small dark dot in the gray -and- white landscape.

I could 'see' this post. Your blog makes me appreciate winter much more--and I've always had a special feeling for it.

me ann my camera said...

What wonderful glimpses you have had!

The fox sounds intriguing, and I think a bonding of interested curiosity has been forged between you both; nature's like that.

Dianne said...

I have this image of the fox taking photos of you taking photos of him ;)

Wren said...

Wildlife can be so uncooperative, can't it? What a great set of photos (and experiences) but I maintain it's been a cold, snowy winter so far. I just hope it's peaking early and we have a warmer January & February.

And yes, ice cream is good in the winter and in the snow. :)

Robert V. Sobczak said...

That has a sort of eerie quality about it. It must have been fun to watch.

Indrani said...

So well described!
Hope you spot him closer next time.

magiceye said...

you sure had a lovely day!

Mary said...

What a wonderful sighting. Foxes seem so special to me -- we don't see many of them, although they do live nearby... lucky you!

Dee said...

I love your comments about winter visitors- the dove story was so touching. Stay warm!

Poetikat said...

I know it's nature's way, but I am always so saddened by the death of a bird.
That fox is surely living up to his name!

Kat

Quiet Paths said...

I just so enjoyed this. Thank you. I hate to think about it but I believe all the bunnies at Proctor were raptor snacks last Fall. Haven't seen a one for months.