Saturday, February 5, 2011
Surprise on the snowmobile trail
Here's what our farmyard looks like after the most recent snow storm and clean up. I generally plow the snow up into these big banks with the tractor's front-end loader, but two of the banks visible in this photo are already too high for the loader. I had to start pushing the snow in the other direction.
Surrounded as we are by fields and woods, we're not likely to run out of places to put snow. But it is getting inconvenient to mover. I have to move it further than normal. The old system that has worked every other winter is no longer working.
We've had a lot of snow this year.
I went for two walks with the dogs today. The first was uneventful. The second, just before dusk, came with two surprises.
The first surprise was these tracks, which took me a minute to identify. When I got to the big apple tree at the start of the snowmobile trail, it was obvious that someone had been knocking the apples that remained down to eat them. But who?
Then I figured it out. We've been seeing wild turkeys lately, wandering around the various dooryards here on the Great Farm.
The prints of turkey feathers in the snow proved it. They must have been jumping up into the tree to knock the apples off.
The next surprise, of which I have no pictures, came later on the second walk, when I spotted Haggis "pointing" like a silly old pointer dog at something in the deep snow off to the side of the trail. He was very intent on whatever-it-was, all concentration and quivering nose.
But all the stupid human could see was an old dry oak leaf, and then just a little behind that, the kind of hole made in powder snow when some snow falls off a tree.
But right then, as I craned to see what was in the hole, a grouse flew out! And directly, too, no running start. It just leaped out of the hole like some kind of missile out of a tube!
Made me jump.
I expect it might also have been a ptarmigan, because I certainly didn't see it well enough to know.
But I sure figured out what Haggis had been staring at.