Tuesday, January 21, 2014

And Now For Something Completely Different

In our part of the country, for anywhere from 99.5% of the year or more, wildlife has no experience with snow or ice.  In some years, none at all.  Last year we totaled (and it took three different days) to reach 1.17" of snow.  Supposedly we exceed that figure a bit tonight and the birds, many born this past calendar year, get their first look at the arctic tundra, NC-style.  One wonders how they see this.  Imagine that no such thing has ever happened in their lives, and suddenly the ground is covered.  But we imagine only a visceral reaction.  Clearly uncounted generations of them evolved to our climate and ancestors went through worse.  Somehow or other they figure it out, dig out a little snow perhaps, or switch to a food source that isn't buried.  And for my lazy House Finches (shown in last winter's storm), nothing really changed.  There will be big tubes full of seed, protected from the snow.  Would that it were all that easy...

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