Monday, February 28, 2011
Last night's fresh snow is tracked by Hares and Cottontails where I walked with the dog "out back" in the morning. Grouse tracks lace across the path from a low-branched Cedar, and my boots slipped sideways over the hard irregularities of the old crust below the soft fluffy stuff. Suddenly a Ruffed Grouse flushes, exploding from a curtain of Cedar boughs close beside us, and Marigold dashes off in the direction of the whirring wings. Sometimes fleeing Grouse hit the sides of light-coloured buildings, perhaps taking them for openings in the trees.
The soft snow was deep for much of the winter here, and Grouse had plenty of opportunity to dive into it to shelter for the night. But then most of it melted, and what remained froze hard as ice. Now the Grouse must roost in the trees until the soft snow gets deeper.
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