Friday, January 11, 2013

January Thaw

A January thaw is making woods walking a little tougher this week. Kodi and I wandered around in the back woods, along the wetland edge, and into a neighbor's white pine forest. I went in my winter boots, without snowshoes. The snow is still nearly a foot deep in places and soft, so snowshoes would have kept my socks dry.

The deer trail parallels the wetland edge. We follow the same path as the deer, as did some wild canids--a fox and a coyote at least. One coyote left its scat next to a small stub of a tree.
A pair of pileated woodpeckers is working the dead and dying white pines. I don't see them, but I can tell from the piles of wood chips and sheets of bark at the base of the trees that they've been here. With their powerful bills and neck muscles they can remove large sections of bark quickly, then pick off the ants and other insects from the exposed trunk.
Fallen pieces of lichen-covered bark and tiny bits of needles and wood litter the snow-covered forest floor -- a work of art to my eyes.
A deer had scraped its antlers against a small eastern red cedar growing beneath the canopy of tall white pines. Perhaps the deer will drop its antlers soon. I must keep my eyes peeled for the drop, although I've never found one.
The snow will disappear quickly in the coming days, given the forecast for rain and temperatures well-above freezing. Let's hope a snowy winter returns after this January thaw.

No comments:

Post a Comment