Tag Archives: deep snow

Quiet after the storm

We got snow.  It’s over my knees everywhere that it isn’t drifted even higher.

The blizzard is over, but it will take us a while to dig out.  Now 5300 in the province are out of power.I’m sore from slogging around on snowshoes yesterday, and HW is sleepless from ice beating on the windows all night.

The animals are all fine, grosbeaks and goldfinches back.  There’s a dozy bunny resting in the snow 20 ft from the house with eyes half closed.  Been there more than two hours now.  Took a break to wash himself like a cat, including licking front paws (so cute!).  Now the rabbits can reach all the hardwood bark that was too high before.

And the squirrel is back above ground.

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The nuthatch isn't very good at using the feeder
The nuthatch isn’t very good at using the feeder
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You’re doing it wrong.
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Haven’t seen a blue jay in ages
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The rabbit stayed all day in the same place- six hours, unperturbed by our comings and goings.

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The Mighty Vole Hunter

The snow is deep, but the voles should not feel relaxed.

The Mighty Vole Hunter rests not in the winter.2016-01-21 14.40.02 2016-01-21 14.39.23 2016-01-21 14.39.46

I don’t know if he hears them mousing around or smells them, but without warning, he will suddenly leap in the air off the path and come down, plunging his head into the snow and sometimes snuffle-plowing around for a while.

Depending on the surface of the snow, he may smack the crust with a paw to crack it, and then thrust his head in and burrow around.

If he’s lucky, he comes up masticating ostentatiously with disgusting crunching sounds, tails or feet hanging out the side of his mouth.  EWW!

If the vole’s lucky, he comes up only with a face full of snow.

He is really very good at hunting voles.  As good as a cat.  He gets one almost every day, sometimes two.   In the “grassy” wasteland adjoining the Walmart parking lot, of all places, he caught the vole of voles, a trophy the size of a squirrel!  Proving some things are flourishing around Walmart.

Sometimes the vole escapes.  Yesterday he flipped the tiniest of voles out of the snow next to the path.  Somehow, it escaped between his back legs, flopping around while he was looking under his front paws- Where’d it go?

Barely two inches long, it righted itself and darted to take refuge- under my boot, where I stood behind him.    I saw the tail slip in under my foot and was standing there thinking  Seriously?  Is it hiding?  Under my foot?  Yep.  I lifted my boot and it dashed away a second time, while Snowy snuffled around mystified.  It was right here.  I had it!

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What we want to know is: Does he keep his eyes open under the snow?

Is your sap running? You’d better go catch it.

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Although we were late getting to it, the sap was late to run this year, due to this weather the Maritimes are having.  So, we are right on time. First warmish, sunny day, it’s about to begin..

2015-03-25 11.32.02We tapped six trees, just using little 1-2 gal food grade buckets.  Edit: Later we put aluminum foil hats on them (paranoid conspiracy buckets) with elastic bands.  Wasn’t pretty, but it worked, relatively.  Only lost two hats in the wind.

We don’t intend to boil down the sap to syrup, because we don’t have an outdoor cooking facility, so we’ll have to use it fresh.  We’ll just drink it, cook with it, drink it….

There’s nothing more divine than cold fresh maple sap. Perhaps it’s even healing.

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One of the very first drops, captured.

There is altogether too much snow around here still…