Monthly Archives: February 2013

It’s really too cold to work a hive (NB snow on the ground!). But both hives had live bees when I removed the covers to add pollen patties and fondant in anticipation of my departure tomorrow. The bees were mighty surprised to see me, if I may anthropomorphize.

If any Eastern bluebirds are reading this post, note you have 3 boxes ready for occupation in the meadow. You’ll find a 4th one mid March.

I also wish to record that I saw a American robin and a Red-winged blackbird on 16 and 17 February. The Robin has not come back but the Blackbird seems to be around. They showed up outside the times I was counting birds for the Great Backyard Bird Count so I have to make a note here.

The round of House fly hatching that started in the back house on the sunny days in the aftermath of Nemo earlier this month has come to a halt. What prompts these annual early hatchings? All the flies always die.

I count two. First, with the phone dead, Verizon could not robo call as they do EVERY DAY to offer me a service I have repeatedly told them I don’t use. Second, like the Cherry Tree Christmas carol (“bend down the tallest branches that my mother may have some…”), the spruce at the top of the fence line bent down with the weight of the snow so that I could pull the Virginia creeper from its upper most branches usually 20 plus feet above my head.

A blizzard Friday night created a perfect canvas for animal tracks. But for two nights and days, only the birds and I left any marks in the snow. Then this morning I saw tracks. They ran from the fence about 20 feet into the meadow and stopped.

Trekking out to get a better look was hard. The snow came up to my knees. Near the fence, where a row of trees had blocked some of the snow accumulation, the tracks showed distinct toenails, pads and a stride of about a foot. In the deeper snow further from the fence, was a tail imprint. Coyote, I surmise.

Why did the tracks stop a few feet from the fence? On closer look, I see they double back. The coyote had the same problem I had with the deep snow only its legs were half as long. Remembering Winslow Homer’s fox, the coyote must have decided to avoid the deep snow.