Sunday, February 24, 2013

Tracks in the Snow

Another up-and-down weather week, ending with a much-ballyhooed snowfall on Thursday and Friday - which was built up by media frenzy to sound like the coming of another Ice Age, but turned out to be an easily-shovelled 3-5 inches. (This is Wisconsin. It snows here every February. Why such an excess of alarm?)

Today is sunny and beautiful, and the thermometer reads a warm 35┬║ when I take off for my walk.

The snow has a soft, chastened appearance, as though beat down by sun and warmth to the realization that its days are numbered.


This tree is already thinking of spring. Tiny leaf buds like picots line its twigs:


Tracks are everywhere today. Fresh kitty tracks on the snow-covered marsh...


...cat AND bunny tracks on the trail:


Mini snow golf, anyone?


Next I see the handprint of what appears to be an amateur photographer:


And a beauty of a pawprint (another cat I think), with what looks like a star in the center:


Next, some bird tracks which puzzle me. Too small to be turkey, so my next guess is pheasant - or maybe quail? Google says no to either of these when I get home and search. What other gallinaceous birds run wild in Wisconsin?  Another quick search yields grouse. Bingo!

The tracks are lovely and ribbon-like:


Day-old deer tracks lead the way through the trees...


...following a trail which ends at some very recognizable tracks. Wild snowmobiles have been this way lately - a pack of them by the looks of it:


Shadow shot!


Tired grasses drape over a fence:


Across the field, white birches stretch lacy arms upwards to catch the sun:


At their feet, more tracks. Cat on the left, and I have no idea what made the two types of prints on the right:


These tracks I recognize instantly...


...as those of the Adult Female Blogger.

Just next to my feet are some wild turkey tracks, but the lighting is wrong and I can't get a good shot. (You'll have to imagine them.)

Energy levels are running low, and the antibiotic I took with lunch is rampaging through my digestive track causing panic and distress in the local inhabitants. Just a few more photos and then I'd better head home.

Detail of a favourite river birch:


An irresistible (to me) goldenrod:


And bittersweet, still shining brightly even after months of winter:


On the way home, I hear sweet birdsong above my head, and look up to see where it's coming from. Three blackbirds fly out of a tree and land on a telephone wire:


Perhaps they can see spring from up there.

:)

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34 comments:

  1. I love your photos! Sending warm thoughts your way in all that snow. :)

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    1. Thanks, V! We're on a warming trend this week - mid to high 30s every day. Woo hoo! :)

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  2. You should see what the media are like in Britain at the first hint of seasonal weather! End-of-days stuff every time :-D.

    Lovely pictures as ever - I particularly like the birch bark one!

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    1. Thanks, Ginny. I've heard what happens over there when it snows.... :)

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  3. I do think the weather has been really hyped up this winter. We had severe storm warnings here too....for 3 inches of snow. Really??? Are you kidding me? It is like they have never seen snow before. Kinda makes me laugh.
    Thanks for the beautiful walk.

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    1. You're welcome! And yes, it's laughable. What is the point of working everyone up like that?

      :)

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  4. Brrr, it looks chilly there Sue.......but lovely day for a walk with all that blue sky and sunshine.

    I love all the different tracks, particularly the grouse.....very interesting.
    Nice to see some signs of Spring as we are seeing signs of Autumn.

    Claire :}

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    1. I really like the grouse tracks too. Hope you get some cooler weather soon, and more of that rain!

      Thanks Claire. :)

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  5. So beautiful, cold but beautiful.
    Have a great week,
    Meredith

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  6. I have been noticing a lot more bird song in the last few days. Always lovely to hear again. I like all your footprints. Juliex

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    1. Yes, the birds are really coming back here too.

      Thanks, Julie! :)

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  7. Lovely photos (as always!) for those of us who never see snow down here in southwest Louisiana. I too look for animal tracks, but for me they are in the mud.

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    1. Thanks, Linda! I think I'd rather walk through snow than mud - but very soon it will be mud for us too. :)

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  8. "The snow has a soft, chastened appearance, as though beat down by sun and warmth to the realization that its days are numbered."

    YOU say this, so perfectly!!!!!!!!

    Beautiful photos all. But with lesser energy and having to take antibiotics, which always make me feel more poooooped out, how in the world could you go for a walk?!?

    Whatever you're taking the meds for, I hope they work quickly, and it is gone, gone, gone.

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    1. Thank you very much, Auntie. It was a sinus infection with complications and yesterday was (I hope) the last dose.

      Gosh, my quote looks quite important in bold italics like that.... :)

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  9. So happy to see that the Female Blogger is making tracks again. :-)

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    1. Thanks very much, Liz! Did you spend Sunday busting stash (or vice versa)? ;)

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  10. Hope you can get some probiotics to counteract the digestive affects. =( Glad it's kept the infection at bay!

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    1. Thank you - I'm taking extra acidophilus which is keeping the worst effects away. But every dose made me queasy for a few hours after taking it. Yesterday was the last dose - hooray!

      :)

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  11. All of those tracks are so beautiful. Makes me want to get out my embroidery thread and stitch away. The birch tree is wonderful. That peel looks like an owl peeking out behind the trunk to greet you!

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    1. It does look like an owl - I had the feeling as I snapped it that it would probably resemble something once I saw it onscreen.

      I can just see your embroidery with tiny bird tracks running across it. :)

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  12. What a glorious walk. I love all those animal and bird tracks and loved that you saw crocheted picots when you noticed the buds on the trees! Those three blackbirds with their beaks lined up are so funny - they look as if they're posing for you!

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    1. They do look like they're posing- I was so glad they didn't fly away when I got out the camera!

      Thanks, Sandra. :)

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  13. Hi Sue, thanks for stopping by for a visit! Yes thought I would give this another go, I have been wanting to for a while. Nice pictures the snow looks so pretty with that amazing blue sky! Ready for some longer, hopefully warmer, days. Although over here you never know.:)

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  14. A "balmy" 36 degrees, eh? I am jealous of the snow. DC hasn't had a proper snow in 2 years, and as it's the end of February in a warm winter we are unlikely to have one before Spring.

    I'm glad you're feeling better! I'm pretty whiny when I'm sick, but the boyfriend--men really are the *worst.* They seem convinced that we can't possibly ever have felt as bad as they feel, even when they have the same illness as us!

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    1. After near- and below-zero, 36 is mighty balmy. :)

      Too bad about the snow - I know how frustrating a dry winter can be.

      P.S. You're so right about guys and illness.

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  15. I love going along on your walks. Thanks for taking me along.

    Sharon

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  16. Good for you for being brave enough to brave the weather on the tail end of a cold. It resulted in more fabulous photos. You really had me with the animal tracks! Wouldn't it have been neat if one of those animals had posed in the snow for you?!?

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    1. I need that fresh air. :)

      None of the Wisconsin animals showed themselves, but your Colorado critters are much more friendly. We saw coyote and lots of deer on our ride today....

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  17. Amazing all those tracks.....you are like an American David Attenborough, but isn't google the answer to all of life's bugging questions? I'm always amazed at what you can learn.

    The snowy scenes are lovely, but make me feel chilly, I'm glad it's not that cold here, I've been moaning about our temps!

    Hope that you are by now feeling a huge amount better. Happy weekend.x

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    1. Yes, thanks Faith. Very much better now! And Google is almost as good as chocolate. :)

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