I can't believe it's been 12 days since I've been on this thread. Anyway, for over a week we had 4 deer passing through the woods across from the small stream behind my son's property. They even bedded down one night on the side of the hill just below the pines near the top. That kept them protected from the high winds we had for several days. They stayed lying in the snow while the morning sun shone on them and warmed them up. When they finally got up, they headed north (and then east to my house? ) Then, as of two days ago they were among the missing - at least during the day. They still come up to raid the bird seed and peanuts I toss on the ground (and snow) and the edge of my son's driveway. My wife and I watch them come out of the woods to the southeast, pass beneath the apple and pear trees, walk along a neighbor's (long) driveway and finally arriving in front of my son's house. Once they've polished off what I had put out for the birds, they casually walk across the driveway and munch on the arborvitae along the road, then work their way down along the north side of the yard stopping at each of the arborvitae bordering the yard. Because my daughter-in-law forgot to wrap the trees with burlap last autumn, the trees now look more like lollipops instead of nice pyramidal shapes they're supposed to have. Guess I'll be adding a lot of organic compost around them to help them recover. I'll have to get out there tomorrow while the sun is out and take a photo or two to post here. The trees do look funny, but I don't think my son is going to be too please with their appearance.
Robins: Even though we have about 8 to 12 robins wintering here for the past couple of years, they did disappear for a month and a half. Then three days ago they were back out front in the maple tree. I heard one calling from the woods in the afternoon with it's "prepared it... prepared it..." call. Each time it would call "prepared it" it would follow it with anywhere from 9 to 15 chirps. From what I've heard over the past several years, once they've found a mate, the other male robins call out with what sounds like, "Way to go! Way to go!"
Yesterday morning there was a flock of about 60 robins in the back yard vying for position on a few grassy patches in the backyard where my son plowed the snow off (for the dogs to do their "business"). Some were in and under the cedar tree and a few in the maples along the south side of the backyard.
The cardinals, titmice, juncos and chickadees are changing their songs, apparently calling for mates. The titmice have a very nice song, but it's always preceded with a quick, mild, low squawk.
Those bluejays are still practicing sounding like a hawk or eagle. Every day there's at least one in the maple practicing. I don't know what that's all about, but when they want, they do have a beautiful song. It's just that they don't sing it that often. Sad. I think if they did they wouldn't be frowned upon by so many people.
A few nights ago I was down at my house taking care of my cat when I noticed the motion light down by my workshop was on. First I looked under the pine tree in my front yard... nothing. When I looked toward the carriage house there were two deer munching on bark on my brush pile. As I watched them a third deer walked through the hedges between my yard and my neighbor's. Expecting the fourth deer, I stood on my porch for almost 10 minutes before heading back up to my son's house. As I heading up the hill I decided to turn left onto the next side street to see if the buck was lagging behind. It was! He was coming down through a swale between people's backyards. He'll meet up with the doe in the woods at the cul-de-sac on the dead-end street next to my house.
This spring my wife (hint...hint...) or I will have to pooper-scoop our yard - and we no longer have a dog. It's all deer droppings - and there is a lot! Seems we can't walk anywhere without stepping on it and squashing it into our boot treads. At least it will make good fertilizer to mix in with the compost.