Life in the Snow - UPDATE January 11, 2019

Watching the deer, I remember the days of walking with deer in winter as their preferred greens become covered with snow and they turn to twigs and old man's beard (Usnea) lichens. Deer chewing cudDeer chewing cudThen they would find a place to dig a bed in the snow where there is good visibility all around and relax. Their eyelids drop to half mast. They regurgitate food that needs more chewing for more surface area for their digestive bacteria and protozoa to work on. And they complacently chew their cuds.

There has been the usual buzz of birds, especially chickadees and pine siskins, along with visits from the female pileated woodpecker. The nice mink named Stripe probably lives under the front deck. He or she is getting to know the routines here. It sat on the front steps and watched the snowplow guy plow back and forth without seeming scared. We see Clear from time to time, and another. If he or she is still living there next summer Course participants will have a new treat. Opening the downstairs door often means that it emerges and hopes for bologna. If no one goes out for awhile, it will look in the upstairs door. Fun. Always good to see it. Same with two gray foxes, one much more accustomed to the routines than the other.

Pileated WoodpeckerPileated Woodpecker ChickadeeChickadee SiskinSiskin

Thank you for all you do.
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center

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