Sunday, January 11, 2009

Turkeys and Murder

What makes for a perfect winter day?  Fresh cold snow, bright blue sky, temp in the mid-20s, and gorgeous terrain for an afternoon snowshoe  hike.  That's what we had today.  My husband and I bushwhacked up into the mountains above the Spier Falls dam, struggling along the steep bouldered slopes as the soft fresh snow slid off the icier crust underneath.  A great workout!

Few critter trails today.  The snow didn't stop until midmorning so most forest dwellers won't venture out of their dens until tonight.  One exception:  turkey trails all over the place.  I never saw a turkey until spring of 1970, our first trip to Saratoga from Ann Arbor, Mich., and I glimpsed one in the woods along the NY Throughway and couldn't believe my eyes.  Now, I'm surprised if I don't see them once a week (although I was startled when one crossed my path in downtown Congress Park).  I guess the DEC's restoration program succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

My best wildlife experience today occurred back at home, with a hawk pouncing on a mourning dove beneath our feeder.  I saw horizontal rusty stripes and assumed it was a sharp-shinned hawk, ran to get my camera, but too late, it flew off to dine on the dove on a high branch in a backyard black locust.  Wait a minute!  That hawk's too big to be a sharp-shinned, at least twice the size of that dead dove.  Maybe it was a Cooper's.  I couldn't get a picture because of dimming light.   One terrified squirrel was plastered to the bird-feeder tree like he'd been wallpapered on.  A witness to murder most fowl!


Jens Zorn said...

There are lots of stunning photos on the web; there are also blogs that are well written. However, your combination of elegant images and moving prose makes "Saratoga Woods and Waterways" far more than the sum of its parts. Warmest congratulations on your contribution to the joy of your readers!

so that prose in Your blog combines photographs and prose in an extraordinarily effective manner...

NatureGirl said...

I love the image of the squirrel!!! :)