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Monday, December 22, 2014

It's been more like spring here today than the first full day of winter.  Although we didn't see any sunshine, the temperature was in the 30s - but just barely - and there will be a definite warming trend through Christmas Day.  This weather doesn't bode well for skiers, boarders, and snowmobilers, but that's our weather lately, full of surprises and disappointments.

Fred took this picture of the Walden Heights Cemetery this morning.  The rime on the trees is so pretty, fluffing out the hard woods to look like they belong on a holiday greeting card.  I got a picture late yesterday afternoon as the sun was setting and giving the hilltops across from us a beautiful glow.  I was just a tad late in getting the best shot, but it's still kind of nice. 

We have had visiting turkeys yesterday and again today.  There are three of them, and they seem to have selected this area as their hunting/roosting area at least for the time being.  They feasted on the crab apples and then made their way across our driveway into the woods between our place and the neighbors'.  When I walked up Jamie and Marie's hill at noon, there were several tracks heading up the hill in that direction, and then late this afternoon I caught a glimpse of them heading back towards the apple trees through our back yard.  They seem to be getting plenty to eat from bushes and trees, but they do tend to cover a lot of ground looking for food.  One settled briefly in one of the ornamental crab apple trees this afternoon and seemed to enjoy those little berry-like apples.  I thought they might roost there overnight, but they seem to have moved on.  I suspect the apple trees wouldn't give them enough cover for roosting comfortably.  They are interesting birds to watch.  It's amazing to me that when they catch a glimpse of either of us through the window they rush off into the pucker-brush; but when Woody - our cat, for those of you who may not be familiar with him - sits in the window in plain sight, all tensed up and watching their every move, they seem to be perfectly at ease and ignore him.  I think he's wary of them - he seems to know they are way too big for him to handle, and they obviously aren't worried about him. 

There was a story in the local news tonight about a couple of deer that were floundering on the ice at Crystal Lake in Barton today.  One was injured and the game wardens had to put it down, but the other one seemed to be ok but unable to navigate on the slippery ice.  Their hooves were not designed for walking on ice, and their feet just splay out from under them so they cannot get upright to help themselves.  The wardens will go back tomorrow to see if they can help that second deer, but they admitted there isn't much they can really do.  If it breaks through the ice, it might be able to make it to shore; they said the ice isn't very thick, so that's a possibility.  Apparently the deer were chased onto the ice by predators - possibly dogs.

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