Saturday, February 9, 2013

February 9, 2013 Warming trend.....

What the heck is are thinking!  Well, I found this while out skiing two days ago.  So, yesterday, since we had some sun and a bit warmer, before we got more snow and buried it, I brought the camera along skiing and took a few photos.  This one is a close up of a hummingbird nest in a bull thistle.  That is not a place I ever would have thought to look for a nest  It is only about 2-3" above the snow right now; however, there is about a foot of snow covering the bottom of the thistle stem.  I don't tend to take the camera along a lot when I am skiing because it is such a darn pain.  You have to have it in a padded case in your packsack, just in case you manage to wipe out on one of the hills.....which in certain conditions, I have been known to do.  It hasn't happened lately. never know.  Then, when you want to take the photo, you have to stop, put down the poles, take off the gloves, take off the packsack, take stuff out of the packsack.....and get serious.  Of course, then you have to do that all in reverse again.  I didn't take my skis off, so I did get in some interesting poses getting this with out taking my shadow, which I try not to do but sometimes miss it.
I also should have brought the macro lens along.  It would have done a better job.  Anyway, you can see the whole thing here.  They sure are tiny.  I am always amazed at how many bird nests I see in the winter when all the leaves are down. 
Since it was a nice sunny day yesterday, all of 15 degrees, the critters seemed to think it was a nice day to walk around and explore my ski tracks too.  The fox could walk the one ski track just perfectly.  It didn't sink in a bit.  The deer, not so much.  They did, however, stay in the general track/trail I had made.
Toby also liked it better because there was no fresh snow and he didn't get ice balls in his toes.  He hasn't been wearing his booties this week because I can't keep them on him in that crusty snow.
That was how I actually managed to see the nest in the bull thistle the day before.  Toby had stopped to chew the ice balls out of his toes and I was looking around while waiting and was standing right along side it.  So, though I have a good eye for details, some things are so small they are easy to miss.
Here is a shot of my ski trail yesterday.  It was such a pretty day out there.  The ski track stood out nicely in the sunshine too.  In the background is the big hill I took the ladies hiking on a while back.  We have another hike coming up in two, need to start thinking about where to go.  Still will depend on the snow.  It sounds like we may finally get a good dump here too.  So far, this winter, it has been very manageable.
The last snow did bring a lot of deer out of the woodwork though.  We had been having an average of 35-40 around.  Now, it is usually closer to 50 with days that have gone over 60.  That is a few.  I know some on the shore finally quit feeding so I think a few have migrated up here since we have a mild winter.  We are going through a lot of alfalfa.  They sure do love that stuff and it is such good quality this year. 
I start my day with my critters.  I start the coffee.  I talk to Toby.  Then, out the "magic door" to feed Skinny Butt his favorite treats.  Then, out the other door to fill the bird feeders with sunflower seeds.  Shadow comes on a run when she sees me as she wants first dibs on them.  Then, after getting her treats, we head for the bales of alfalfa on the trailer, under a huge tarp, by the garage.  She walks right along side me over to get the alfalfa.  She dearly loves that!  With all the deer lately, I feed whole bales at a time now.  She doesn't particularly like it when I cut the strings and the bales pop.  So, she stands back until I do that.  Then, she and the twin fawns start in on the choicest, greenest parts of the alfalfa while I distribute the rest.  By that time, I have a yard full following me around.  "Fancy's girl" always has to catch up a few times and get some bites of corn out of the bucket, as does Miz Spectacles.  So, it is an interesting, pleasurable start to my mornings. for a walk with Toby.  After that.....breakfast.  I am usually ready for that coffee and some food by then. 
The critters are a nice way to start off the day, for sure!


  1. Oh, how I wish there was some way you could get a video of you doing those early morning chores with all the animals following you around!

  2. I wish I could have a photo of it too. I just think it would be so neat to have a photo of Shadow following me around. However, it would mean Bruce would have to be outside with the camera. She has never liked a camera in her face. It isn't something one could get decently from the house because of the angle. would be cute! :)