They were (mostly) wrong. We only got about 1 inch of snow/sleet over night. It was much colder this morning so they got that right. It was also a little windier on the hill since the wind now was out of the northwest and there's really nothing to protect me from that direction for miles and miles...maybe somewhere in Canada.
I went out anyway. Going up the hill in the dark was pretty easy as that little bit of snow really lit up the landscape. Flashlights were not needed even though it was overcast and no moon or stars could be seen. I was on stand by 6:40 AM--less than ten minutes after leaving the house. I took my seat and waited.
Some shots were fired from all directions around me between 6:45 and 9 AM but nothing really close to me. Dogs barked down the hill at something. Beech leaves rattled and spilled snow in the wind. A tiny shrew scurried from under a seedling hemlock and dove into the leaves next to a small rotting log. Chickadees and titmice (and that workaholic downy woodpecker) moved through the woods. Otherwise, things were quiet. Very, very quiet. Still I sat and looked around me and took note of any sound. THings can happen quickly. Sometimes. The sun finally appeared through the breaking cloud cover around 11 AM. An hour later, I headed back to the Aerie.
I saw no deer. None. Zip. Zilch. And no tracks in the woods or along the upper driveway.
That's because the deer had been digging in the snow to get to the grass of the Aerie's lawn. Looking down from the deck, I could see several spots--areas 2-3 feet square--where at least one deer had pawed down to nibble on the grass. True, they could have been there in the dark before I went out. Or these could be New Jersey deer. You know, those that have learned to live in suburbs by bedding between houses during the day and coming out at night to eat your flowers (especially hostas and tulips!). After dinner tonight, I went out on the deck to get the bird feeders and a deer spooked from under the pine behind the garden--between the Aerie and the hunting camp down the hill. *sigh*