Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lovely Feelings in the Air!

Even though we are in the grip of an Arctic front, there is a special feel to the Air.  It is very, very cold and clear, with temperatures dipping to -30C...but you know what? I can hear Birds singing during the afternoon, and the wild Animals who call our place their home are on the move.

I see Deer, fully pregnant, wandering along with last year's offspring, one who is extremely curious about this home, where there is a deck with bars and railings.  And since we shovel Snow off the deck, of course there is only a little of the white stuff remaining on it.  This young Deer couldn't figure it out, so he/she thought it might be interesting to climb onto the deck to check it out.

He found the stairs, on the side where they are all covered with Snow.  I had taken the photos displayed here a little earlier, but was busy with something else at the time he tried this.


I heard a crash.  The Dogs, of course, went berserk, as you can imagine. Looking out of one of the windows which make up the South facing part of our home, I saw this young Deer spread-eagled on the icy part of the Deck.  I missed that photo by only a few moments, as I ran to find my camera...he was gone in what seemed like seconds, back down the stairs to find Mama.


Mama was browsing outside the fence.  I could imagine her thoughts as she watched her youngster leaping over the fence to join her.  I could imagine just what she thought of her foolish youngster who could not contain his curiosity.  Her thoughts would have been similar to all Mothers, Animal or Human, who cannot understand why their young would do something so very silly, endangering themselves in this manner.


Mama had been so careful with this one child.  She would hide him amongst the Trees, warning him to stand completely still. It was difficult to make him out when she did this, as he blended in completely.  His legs looked exactly like the branches of the bushes which surrounded him. 


But he was younger then, and still listened to his wise Mama.  But as the days went on, I noticed he was becoming a little more rebellious. Why was Mama browsing the fence line, eating the Rose hips which grew along the fence...without him?  Nothing happened to her, so why all the warnings?


Does this sound familiar to all those who try and try to bring up their children with safety, responsibility and warnings?


There are other Animals, not the least of which are the Predators, who follow Deer on their Spring march.  I have not been quick enough to take photos, sometimes becoming so involved in the watching. 


There is Wolf who wanders the fence line, stopping every so often to see if I'm still watching. He'll sometimes sit at one of the gates; it is as if he is projecting his thoughts to me.  Our Dogs are very quiet when he visits, pressing very close to my side. This, in itself, is very unusual for these two.  But the Dogs seem to understand that here is one Animal who is King in these parts.


Although I have not seen him, there is also Cougar, who makes his presence known by his screech, sounding so much like a human baby screaming...it quite sends chills down my spine every time I hear it.


Fox paid a visit, not long ago.  It is difficult for me to believe in the wildness of these creatures, and I can understand people who believe the opposite.  He is the funniest creature, leaping about much like Cats will. He mesmerizes me, which is just what he is doing to his prey at the moment...they don't know what this seemingly foolish Animal is doing, until it is too late and they become dinner.


And of course, there are the Coyotes who wake me with their racket after a kill.  It is celebratory...age old songs sung with anticipation of their fresh meal.


Moose wander through, leaping the fence with ease to find the Rose hips which Deer have left.  I have heard them in the evenings, but have only seen their droppings and their tracks, which are huge and unmistakable. I hear them snuffling and blowing Snow from their noses.  Again, the Dogs press close to me when these huge Animals appear under cover of the dark night.



There are many Owls, with wide spread wings. They sit so silently on the branches of the Trees, until they spot their prey. Without a sound, they pounce on whichever unfortunate creature happens by. Our Squirrel population is becoming much smaller...they are easy pickings as they jump and run over the Snow-covered fields.


Hawks are numerous, but Eagle has only appeared once or twice, even though there are many in the Summer.


Living here is a photographer's dream, if only this photographer had her camera linked to her body...


And so, even when the North Wind blows, letting us all know Old Man Winter hasn't loosened his grip quite yet, I know without a doubt that he is only an old geezer who doesn't want to let go.


His time here is on the wane and he must make way for the tender, loving arms of Lady Spring, and the lovely feelings of renewal she projects to the Human and Animal populations.


There is no better way to predict her arrival than to tune in to the Animals who appear.


And the next time Coyote sings his joyous song...I might just join in!

11 comments:

  1. That looks like a pileated woodpecker which we have also but they are very hard to get this close to. I usually only know they are around when I hear their singular screetch from the other side of a tree somewhere, then just a flash as he flies away. This is a wonderful photo of him.
    Our only predators are owls and coyote out to get the ducks. But we have built a strong pen lined with chicken wire roof sewn together at the overlaps with electric-fence wire and sided with welded-wire fencing buried at the bottom. This protects them in the winter when our clay-pit lake is frozen. I just released them into the lake last week; boy, what a bust-out joy they had!!

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  2. So much wildlife Marion and the sounds and presence of some must be a little bit scary.

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  3. Goatman,

    If I ever decide to own poultry, I'll have to contact you for building advice. I don't know that I would want to find the aftermath of a predatory raid...it's happened to me before. Really heartbreaking.

    I'm so glad your Ducks had a fine time...it makes me smile to think of the joy they experienced. I wish I had your pond...I've seen photos of it. It's very dry here in the interior, although there are many lakes. But our property is hilly, dry and mostly sandy...filled with glacial till. The draws at one time carried flood waters, but I've been told Beavers have been busy damming and we no longer see water flowing through in the Spring.

    Davem,

    I am grateful I grew up in deep country on the Island. There is a certain feel to living in the wild, senses seem heightened, giving me great awareness of the energies surrounding me.

    We have a fence; most of the animals are very respectful and keep outside of it. It makes for great watching, but sometimes when I feel the hair on my neck rise...I know I am being watched, as well, by something, even if I can't see it!

    That can be a little disconcerting!

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  4. Hello Marion,

    I so enjoy reading about your neck of the woods. What a magical place it is with all those wild animals. Love, love the photos, thanks!

    There has been cougars hanging about on the walking trails here and would not go away when hikers try to chase them. They seem to be less territorial where you are.

    I love these words, "His time here is on the wane and he must make way for the tender, loving arms of Lady Spring, and the lovely feelings of renewal she projects to the Human and Animal populations."

    I hope Spring comes to your area soon, though by your photos it might be a ways off.

    Pleasant dreams for Spring fever!

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  5. I so enjoy reading about your neck of the woods. What a amazing place it is with all those wild animals.You are a splendid photographer.

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  6. Soon. All the signs are there, aren't they? And on a warm almost 60 degrees day like today, I find myself hardly able to wait for spring. It must be frustrating to lose some of these visitor shots.

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  7. Miruh,

    I remember the Cougars on the Coast...there were many where I lived. I remember their lack of fear towards humans, especially in the more populated areas.

    I saw a photo of what I think was a Japanese Cherry or Plum Tree on the Coast...already in bloom! Put me in a funk for a moment or so, until I remembered I still had the budding and blooming to look forward to! Usually Spring has passed into early Summer on the Coast when Spring begins here.

    Eco,

    Thank you so much for visiting! The photos were mostly taken through the windows, since the animals would have left had I opened the door. Consequently, the photos turned a little cloudy and unfocused.

    Sheila,

    How nice to see you...I know how busy you are. So many people are on Twitter, as you mentioned on your latest post...I think I'll have to look into it!

    Yes, I only have to have a bit more patience, as Spring always arrives at the perfect time. It's been a difficult Winter...lots of Storms and cold weather.

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  8. Hi Marion,
    I enjoyed your creature stories. I came upon a deer once in a cemetery and it is hard to tell who was more startled. It made this loud crashing noise. The deer must have sounded like an elephant on your porch. I hope it warms up soon though and spring comes to your world. The end of winter is the hardest to bear

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  9. What a wonderful world you now live in Marion. Thanks for the great wildlife photos.

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  10. What a wonderful world of nature you are in. It is so nice and a real pleasure to read your accounts of the status of all that surrounds you and live with you. I thank you for your words and for all the friends who give you the opportunity to share.

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  11. You are so lucky to live one to one with nature Marion and have all those animals around. It's great to hear of some of the experiences you have. It must be quite scary too when you get wolves. I imagine you'll have to be careful when you open your doors.

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