Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Weather Rollercoaster

It is raining, then the sun shines, then it rains once more. According to the NOAA, we have set an all-time record for the coldest, wettest winter in the Hill Country. The animals are feeling the chill. They are eating far more than ever before.

The sparrows still spend their days in the mustang grape vine outside the den, then fly off in groups of five or more to sleep in the trees at night. They are very routine creatures and we have learned that they love to be spoken to, so my husband and I stop to talk to them every time we pass their perches.

There is another flock of birds, very tiny birds, like finches, that is spending time on the bedroom patio now. They share the space with the sparrows and the squirrels. They are so tiny, they look like miniature figurines. I have been tossing extra seed onto the ground for them.

I walked into the backyard and spooked a large hawk yesterday, one of the largest I've seen. It wasn't big enough to be a black vulture, though I know black vultures are actually in the hawk family. Nevertheless, it was a very large bird. Interestingly enough, I believe it was taking a bath in the bird bath I set out for the sparrows.

I figured out the mystery of the sunflower seeds in my garden shoes. Uno, the one-eyed squirrel is not only the squirrel filling my shoes with seeds, he is also the squirrel that likes to run across the driveway, and the squirrel that eats the seeds I leave on a tray beneath a tree just inside the forest. I was pretty surprised when I figured this out. I knew he was bold, I just didn't think he was bold enough to walk up to the back door where the dogs sleep. It's so amazing to me to think that he was the runt of the litter, at one time the tiniest squirrel on the block. He's come a long way...

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