Winter, Wildlife, and a Mystery - UPDATE November 23, 2019

With 10 inches of sudden snow in the last couple days, winter is here. I say, if it looks like winter and it feels like winter, it’s winter no matter what the date. I believe we’ll be keeping this snow for the next 4 or 5 months.Mink StripeMink Stripe

Stripe the mink has it made, living under the front deck and all she has to do is look pleadingly in the window at me as she is doing in the picture and someone will leap to give her all the bologna she wants. Red Squirrels are burrowing in the snow. Chickadees and White-breasted Nuthatches are hampered in their searches and hungry for suet and sunflower seed hearts. And then I noticed a mystery.

White breasted nuthatchWhite breasted nuthatch ChickadeeChickadee Red squirrel tunnelRed squirrel tunnel

The beavers had been busy climbing up the outside of their lodge, which I said earlier that they can’t do. I wanted to walk on the ice to track them, but I’m not as brave on early ice as I used to be. I thought about walking around the lake where the photo shows the snowy trees along the shore, but I didn’t have time. So I have to rely on someone who reads this to ‘splain it to me. I tried to look it up and saw ‘When the water surface freezes over, beavers lose access to trees on shore.’ They must have a secret hole in the ice. I might chop a hole of my own to see how thick the ice is and avoid the center part of the lake which is the last to freeze. Inquiring minds want to know.

Beaver activityBeaver activity Woods lakeWoods lake

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