Saturday, February 26, 2011

Snow, Snow, Snow...

and more snow!  According to the National Weather Service, Boston has had over 71.2 inches of snow as of February 14.  Our driveway is surrounded by walls of snow and in some places in the yard it's thigh deep.

So, what do you do if you live around here?  Animals have three choices: adapt, hibernate, or migrate. 

I continue to feed the non-migratory birds and they're now allowing us to come a little closer to watch. One of my favorites, the red bellied woodpecker came by for a week but we haven't seen him since.

Birds adapt by getting their fill of food during the day and fluffing out their feathers for warmth.

Many people think squirrels are hibernating, but they're actually very active.  A pair of red squirrels have made tunnels leading to the feeder posts.  They're also small enough to squeeze through the holes in the squirrel proof suet feeder, but one bark from our Sheltie sends them running for cover.

Our dog smells all the animals that have been burrowing in the snow and spends a lot of time with his head buried trying to track them down.

The kids like to get in on it too.

When the snow melts, pathways made by voles and other little critters are visible showing that there's quite a bit of activity going on beneath the snow in the subnivian layer.

A great book to read about nature in winter is Bernd Heinrich's Winter World.  Children will enjoy discovering wintering animals in Melissa Stewart's Under the Snow.

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