Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Snow Job

There was a smidge of white stuff on the ground as snow shoe and I set out this morning. He tried mightily to make a snow angel - but all he succeeded in doing was getting his coat soaked. We know though that to know snow you have to have experienced lake effect snow.

Our time came in Penfield, New York, a suburb of Rochester. When snow came down there as fine as it was here this morning, we'd have had a foot on the ground by the time we finished our walk. It was that light and fluffy. If you 're a powder hound you'd love it - except for the lack of mountains!

When it would start the neighbors, usually we wives, would be out shovelling or snow blowing every three inches. If the snow started around three I'd have done our driveway two or three times before my commuter would get home around 5:30. Then we'd tackle the deck together before it reached our knees! Before we'd quit we' snow blow a path to and around my birdfeeders. Then a cocktail to warm up and dinner.

We lived on an eight house cul-de-sac; all on two acre lots with woods between and behind. It was also a deer path. My friend at the head of the street would call and let me know when they were headed my way. We could set our clocks by them actually. We did feed them. Sweet feed mixed with deer food. That way they left our shrubs alone and sometimes there was even some food left in the bird feeders - but not often.

The deer would move on and the wild turkeys would come in to clean up the spill. If there wasn't enough for them they'd come up on the deck and peer into the kitchen. More often than not I'd gear up and trudge out with feed buckets in hand one last time.

Later in the evening if we'd turn on the back yard lights we'd find all the night critters chowing down. We had fox, possums, skunks, raccoons - you name it. Amenable bunch they were - each doing its own thing; not bothering anyone else.

Morning would find the yard full of deer prints - even on the pond where a bubbler kept an air hole open for the fish and provided water for everyone else. Occasionally there would be a couple of deer bedded down in the snow blower path. Then the birds would come out - and the cycle would begin all over again.

When we moved here I had hoped we'd have a similar array of wild life but alas we live on the prairie. The Killdeer have moved on for the year but the Hunnies abound and the House Finches are always out and about. But oh how I miss my Piliated Woodpeckers and every other kind known to man, my Owls, the Jays and Cardinals, those fearless Chickadees and yes even those goofy Turkeys.

Then there were the birds of summer...

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