Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Signs are Starting!

I just love setting up for my classes in the morning. I get to go out, alone, which I really don't have time to do before work and [honestly] may not be motivated to do if I didn't have work. I experience the morning while hanging signs or leaving props in their places for later. It starts out as a pain, I'll admit... it makes my morning rather rushed... but once I get bundled up and get out there, it seems like every morning something wonderful happens.

Today, I brought my camera. I know... before I was all about my larger moment with the universe... but forget that. I want evidence. I was keeping an eye out for my bluebird friends. I didn't see them, but that's OK. Besides my daily chickadee and crow companions, this morning I also saw a robin -- the former harbinger of spring -- and a red wing blackbird -- a more accurate harbinger of spring.
This is he in the tree top. The visual may have been somewhat distant and not great, but the audio was crystal clear. I heard his call before I spotted him, a tiny bit... out of place on a cold day in the snow, perhaps... usually the first one is on one of those anomalously warm and sunny days... but there it was. (A friend reported seeing one on Tuesday, I believe, but this morning was my first. And second and third. When they come out to play, they really come out to play!)

Last night's dusting of snow (or sleet, more accurately) left quite a story to read in the morning. It's always just crazy to me to see how many animals are out and about in the night, and where they've gone... this morning I was on the same path as a skunk for most of my route... I must've stepped over the trail 10 times.
Skunk prints.
The skunk crossed paths with a coyote (actually, several)...
...and some squirrels...
And just to complete the circle, the coyotes also crossed paths with the squirrels, though clearly not actually at the same time. I also saw vole tracks out there. All these in 20 minutes and within a couple hundred yards of the school! It was a good morning...

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