Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lazy Sunday Springtime Report
April 10, 2011

Went out through the basement french doors this afternoon to look around the yard at the pretty green stuff out there. Turns out to be mostly wooly mullein, thistle and moss. Still there's some hope for grass and clover to make an appearance.

When I turned around and looked at the glass of the doors, I noticed some muddy spears on both of then between waist and chest height. A closer inspection showed that they were bear paw prints. The pads for each toe could be clearly seen. I called Terry down to have a look and noticed the highest print would have been just about on her shoulders. The bear was probably looking to see if it could come in and play with the kitties. That or eat their food. If he tried that upstairs off the deck, he would probably rip the screens. Downstairs, I haven't put the screen doors up because it's always cooler down there than outside during the summer so who needs 'em?

With 99.9% of the snow gone, I took a short walk in the back. There were a couple of piles of bear, rabbit and raccoon poop on the lawn, but the woods were filled with deer droppings of a variety of vintages. Some was old and dried up. Some was fresh enough to attract the attention of flies. It comforting to know that there are animals--even bears--in them thar woods.

We've still got hordes and hordes of common redpolls coming to our bird feeders. The numbers we get make me smile when I think of the rare bird reports from counties south and east of here where it's A Big Deal to see one or two at some poor schlubs feeder. The redpolls should be heading north to their boreal nesting sites Any. Day. Now. Meanwhile they are being joined, however, by more and more goldfinches--some almost completely in their bright yellow breeding plumage.

Temperatures today have been in the high 50s and we will be even warmer tomorrow. We might even see the upper 70s before a line of thunderstorms moves in Monday night. Despite today's warmth, we haven't see much of the sun at the Aerie. Looking at the radar on shows The Blob--that kidney shaped little splotch of green is again settled over the western end of Armenia Mountain where we are located. Sometimes the sun manages to shine even when that blob is present, but not today. The cloud ceiling must be quite low for even the tops of the windmills across the way are shrouded in clouds. Part of that is undoubtedly due to the small patches of snow and the cooling of the moist air directly above them ("fog" from rotting snow).


Rev. Paul said...

There's fresh bear scat at the side of our house, too. The smallish pile would indicate black bears, rather than their larger brown cousins.

Obviously your basement doors are sturdy. Sounds like that's a good thing.

JDP said...

There are more and more reports of black bear sightings here in Texas. Sure would like to see one one of these days. I have only seen one wild black bear in my life and that was years ago in New Mexico.


joated said...

Got plenty of them in the yard here in PA. Even more up at the Bolt Hole. Funny thing, though, they all seem to disappear during the fall hunting season.