Ramble with Storm: First snow & a morning for geese

SHARE Ramble with Storm: First snow & a morning for geese

Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family’s mixed Lab.

OK, calling it the first snow stretches the definition.

I know it is not the first measurable snow, but there were snow pellets on our car trunk and the neighbor’s car. I had woke up at 4:30 and hoped to see it, but must have just missed seeing it.

Definitely the first taste of winter this morning. The leftover rain on the cars was frozen solid. The wind chill was in the low 20s and I was glad for every layer.

This kind of weather–post-frontal conditions with a strong northwest winds and rapidly dropping temperatures–definitely had Canada geese moving.

Thirteen geese came overhead, low enough that out in the field I could have taken a crack at them, as the meathead and I set off.

A couple blocks from home, a black squirrel hopped around. It had a scruffy rat-tail, much like our backyard black squirrel the kids call Stumpy, but it was different.

I found it interesting that within a couple blocks we have two rat-tailed black squirrels. Naturalist Steve Sullivan once explained to me why so many squirrels have beat-up tails. If I remember right, it was the animals wearing on each other, not cars.

On the edge of town, I could hear more Canada geese in the distance, but could only find three flying low.

Then another 10 geese flew past, flying low and hard as we neared the town pond.

Geese and squirrels were it for wildlife this morning.

Other than thoughts of Bears. That game last night was like a slog through 2-foot drifts.

Back in town, two gray squirrels hopped around downtown, like idiots I thought. A block west over the center of town, 26 geese rode the tail winds, heading south toward the big lake outside of town.

Storm trapped a gray squirrel on a small Japanese maple a block from home.

As I neared home, I realized the wind had stiffened my cheeks, something I hadn’t felt since early March.

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