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!