Sunday, March 12, 2023



Just outside my home office window, I maintain two bird birders and several suet cages for winter entertainment while I am answering email and orders from the Vermont Flower Farm. Each morning either my son Alex or I fill the feeders and enjoy the birds arriving for breakfast. But this time of year, we are often surprised by other visitors that want breakfast too. Three days ago, when the field was clear, white with snow, and untouched, a raccoon began across and then was joined by another. They cleared the field and entered our machine shed and showed no sign of exiting there all day. The following morning the suet cages had been pulled down and were completely empty. Obviously, the raccoons visited for a guaranteed feed during a time when a couple feet of snow covered the ground and food was limited.

This morning, Alex fed the birds and it was quiet for a while. I got up for another cup of coffee and looked out only to see a woodchuck eating sunflower seeds under one of the feeders. I grabbed the camera and took this picture. Its hair was disheveled and wet in places but otherwise, he or she looked fine. The temperature was expected to rise to +40° and now as I write at 1:30 PM it's up to a surprising 48.4°. The rise in temperature --or was it the advent of daylight savings time gave suggestion that Spring was coming and it was time to wake up. We have a big storm arriving in about 24 hours and it's apparent the animals knew that and decided now was the time to find some food. In about a month most of the snow will be history and we'll be at the flower farm cleaning up for another season. And the crittters of the fields and forests will be with us too. Different companions but all part of living in rural Vermont. Be well!

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