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