Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snowy Barred Owl in Woods

On Monday morning January twenty-seventh at around nine, I was walking through the woods with my dog. The slightest of sounds made me look up at a white pine tree. There, on an upper branch, sat a Barred Owl. I quickly walked past the tree for about ten yards. Hoping I hadn't disturbed it, I then took a look back. Just beautiful! It seemed that its eyes were partially closed. I wondered if it would be roosting there for a bit. I got back twenty minutes later with my camera. It was perched in the same spot. After taking a few pictures I left since the click of the camera was bothering it. Notice the bark off the branch in places. I am thinking it is a favorite roost and the talons are wearing the bark away. We were having a snow squall and the third picture shows snow coating the owl's head.
Barred Owl in Woods South of Village

It turned its back on me!

Head turned almost 180 degrees

Monday, January 27, 2014

Hoar Frost

The morning of January twenty-second was minus three degrees. While out walking the dogs I came across hoar frost in several locations around the village. The feathery, fern-like ice crystals were beautiful and intriguing. If it hadn't been so cold I would have spent more time photographing and examining them.
Janes Avenue storm water gully with hoar frost

Close-up of crystal formations in gully

South Lawn

Delicate Crystals

Ice Thorns on Lilac Bud and Branch

Floating Crystal on Stream at end of Peck Avenue

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Got Out Again

So I got out snowshoeing again on Sunday January fifth, this time going with my husband, Dan.  We drove to the end of Ruhle Road South and parked. After strapping on snowshoes, we headed toward the pedestrian bridge between Rhule Road north and south. Right before the foot bridge there's an unmarked trail which will take you into the woods heading toward Shenentaha Park. The trail is gorgeous! Up on the ridge to the left is the Zim-Smith trail and down to the right is the creek. Soon the trail comes down to the water and is marked from this point on. There is also a trail to the left which ascends up to the Zim-Smith trail. We stayed on the trail by the water which eventually brought us up to the park. Check it out!
Start of Trail

Looking Up At Zim-Smith


Got Out

Sign from Zim-Smith Trail

Old Snowy Jalopy

Bracket Fungi

Tall Pines

Judy, Becca and Windpaw on Loop Trail
Frigid temperatures, a foot of snow, rain, ice, wind chills of well below zero, this is how the first week of January 2014 played out. Before being iced over, the snow was light, powdery, and clinging to everything. I got out on Saturday and Sunday, January fourth and fifth, for a little snowshoeing. I stayed local both days, first going to the Usher Road State Forest on Saturday. You can take the Zim- Smith trail south to a sign that indicates the state forest land and loop. You can also drive to a parking area on Ushers Road to do the 1.5 mile loop trail. The trail is flat with lots of old White Pines, and a  couple of little bridges over streams. We didn't see any wildlife but the impressive pines, clear blue skies, crisp air and time spent with friends made for a great trip.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Northern Flicker Settles for Suet

It was minus three degrees on the morning of January third. The snow was just winding down after falling for twenty-four hours. The bird feeders in my yard were crowded during the storm and with this morning's frigid temperature were again being visited by a number of birds. A Northern Flicker caught my eye as it flew in and landed on a suet cage. Usually these woodpeckers are ground feeders, sucking up ants and beetles. With a foot of new snow blanketing the yard not an ant was to be had. The flicker settled for  blueberry suet, chiseling the frozen cake with its curved bill. I got pictures through my glass paned kitchen door. Dog slobber on the glass makes it look like I used a filter! It was just too cold to go out on the porch to take his picture plus I didn't want to scare him off. He came back in the afternoon.

Male Northern Flicker

Beautiful Markings
Note the Black Moustache