Walk in the Woods

Yesterday was gray.  Fifty degrees.  Rain fell.  Throughout the course of the day, temperatures fell, too.  Forty.  Thirty.  Twenty.  And into the teens.

Snow Sculptures and ShadowsToday is Saturday.  The last day of February.  It is cold.  Eye-stinging cold.  Nostril-freezing cold.  I can tell by the wells around the bases of the trees that the snow is deep, but my feet do not break through the hard-packed, icy layer covered with crystalline powder.

My camera is at home on the kitchen table.  Just as well.  My pace will be faster, which will warm me up quicker.

I decide to walk to the top of the hill in hopes that the vantage point will give me views of the treetops and I might spot where a Great Horned Owl is nesting.  Great-horned Owls are the first birds to nest in our area and can be found sitting eggs as early as late January.  They incubate for about a month, so I suppose it is possible I could find a nest with babies…

Suddenly there is a lot of caw-caw-cawing…  Crows are everywhere, all heading for the same tree.  Are they harassing someone?  Sure enough, I see a lighter-colored bird take off from that tree, chased by more crows.  It’s too far away to tell what variety of raptor the crows are pestering…  I decide to believe it is my Great-horned Owl.

On the way back to the car I stop several times to listen.  I hear chickadees, tufted titmice, cardinals, and goldfinches.   Both the chickadees and cardinals are singing “love” songs!  They don’t mind the cold!

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6 thoughts on “Walk in the Woods

  1. I was all disappointed the weather turned cold again. Not only cold, but there is a wind chill of 2 degrees! I’m glad you mentioned about the great horned owl being the first to nest. I’ll be looking to see if the one on Presque Isle is nesting. Today it wasn’t anywhere to be seen.

  2. Yes, yes, yes! Time to watch for nesting owls. Spring IS creeping up on us. We had mild weather yesterday, too, but today we plunged back into a freeze, like you. But what a difference a day makes! There’s less snow.

  3. Back with the cold weather from NE MN and all of 20 below last night.
    2 weeks ago I was blessed with a great horned owl calling when nature called me out from staff quarters early in the morning hours. I called back to it but was too sleepy to stand in the cold to see if I could call it closer.
    The calling of the saw-whets will start soon, from deep in the thawing woods. Signs of the end of a very satisfactory winter season…

  4. I’m glad my neighbors don’t try to mob me out of my house the way crows do to owls.

    I guess that I’d rather hear chickadess and cardinals singing love songs instead of Captain and Tenille.

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