We were lucky again this year to have a red fox sparrow stop by on its way north. These large sparrows overwinter in central and eastern North America and breed in the taiga of Canada and Alaska. This fellow came through at about the same time that the white throated sparrows returned.
I went for what might be one last ski up on Lion’s Ridge at Camel’s Hump Nordic yesterday. With spring coming on, there was all kinds of activity recorded in the snow. I saw tracks from turkeys, weasels, mice, bear—all going about their early spring businesses. I followed this ruffed grouse track to where the bird took flight leaving the impression of its wings in the soft snow.
I came across this set of bear tracks while skiing this morning up at Camel’s Hump Nordic (yup, there’s still a lot of snow up there!) I’m pretty sure I was looking at more than one bear walking in the same set of tracks—perhaps a mother and cubs?
Here’s a close up with my glove for scale. Big animal!
We’ve had a couple of robins hanging around all winter (judging by their accents, I’m guessing that they were Canadian…) and they’ve probably headed back north across the border to their summer nesting grounds. I’ve been hearing a lot more robins now, and I’m pretty sure that this fine bird is one of our own migrants returning for the summer. It was quite willing to let me get a good shot as it poked around in one of the apple tree in our front field.
Rain, warm temperatures, and rapid snow melt make for fast moving water in Fargo Brook where a branch of a fallen tree cuts the water. Dialing in the right shutter speed freezes the action creating a satisfying sense of flow.
We came across the crew of chipmunks on the top of what we’re now calling “Chipmunk Hill” up above East Street and Delfrate Road. They were not particularly shy. Several were bold enough to come within a couple of feet of us, and both Robin and I were wondering if they might crawl up our legs in their flighty curiosity.
Given that we didn’t have much cold weather in February, I wasn’t particularly surprised to see so much chipmunk activity. They spend the cold months in a torpor state (as opposed to true hibernation) and start emerging as the temperatures warm in March to kick off their spring breeding season. The seven or eight chipmunks we saw were no doubt “busy”…