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Monday, November 24, 2014

Today has been like spring around here.  The temperature got into the 50s - in the 60s in the Burlington area! - and all our snow is gone.  I'm not certain that all the ice is gone in the pond.  There still seems to be some iced-over spots in coves, but I think we can safely say we've been through our first "freezing" of the pond, even though the big pond didn't freeze over entirely.  Old timers will tell you the pond has to "freeze over" two or three times before it's frozen for the winter.  I seem to remember one winter a few years ago when it froze right after Thanksgiving and we didn't see open water again until May, but more often we do go through these two or three periods of freezing and releasing before it's solid.

Today there have been some showers, but last night it rained pretty hard.  I collected .37 in. of rain in my gauge, but a few places didn't get much at all; others got a lot more.  We went to Hardwick and Wolcott this morning and there was lots of fog along the river.  I suppose that was because the air was so much warmer than the water.  Our car thermometer was reading 51 degrees at the time.  The back road (Brickett's Crossing Road) was a combination of mud, slush and occasional icy spots, but still very passable.  We just had to be aware that there were soft shoulders and shaded spots could be really slippery.  

At one farm on Route 15, we saw three deer carcasses hanging.  That might suggest the deer kill was up this year, or just that there were lots of hunters in the family.  There was plenty of snow for tracking during the first week, but now, in the second week, none at all.  I haven't paid much attention to the reports in the newspapers so far, so I don't have any idea how many have been shot in our area, but I'm always glad when hunting season is over.

There seem to be plenty of wild turkeys around, though.  We've seen some very large flocks.  I just learned that a group of turkeys is technically called a "rafter" or a "gang," and averages about 30 birds.  So I guess what we've been seeing is very normal.  There also seem to be lots of rabbits around this year.  Perhaps there haven't been too many predators.     

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