Mud Season

can this mean spring? . . . .

can this mean spring? . . . .

High winds and warming temperatures have turned the ice and snow into muddy soup and pools of water everywhere.  After bitter cold and blowing snow, it seems like a step in the right direction, if only there was someplace to step that didn’t entail a slippery mire that is as hard to navigate as the ice it replaces.

long awaited bath . . . .

long awaited bath . . . .

The geese are in their glory, with pools and puddles in every direction.  The lake forming in the creek bottom is an unexpected bonus and they spent the day bathing, preening, swimming and diving–all the things geese love to do!

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If the weather turns cold again, as it likely will, these guys will need skates to navigate all the water.  They don’t do any better on ice than human critters, and I witnessed a hilarious site as I was bringing them in one evening. They were hurrying along in front of me and hit a patch of snow melt that had frozen into a little pond. It quickly became a flapping frenzy as they slid across on their tails, propelled by wings with feet thrust forward.  They floundered and careened, spinning around and bumping into one another until they finally made it to the edge.  By this time I was laughing so hard at their plight I could barely stand. If only I had videotaped the scene!

"Hey, this is our little patch of ground!" . . . .

“Hey, this is our little patch of ground!” . . . .

Three little fawns are grazing for leaves and twigs in the poplar patch.  The geese have established a beachhead and don’t appear to want to share this coveted piece of ground that is bare of snow.  They are all as sick of winter as we are and the fawns look like they could use a good meal.

"We'll just go nibble sagebrush" . . . .

“We’ll just go nibble sagebrush” . . . .

The geese put up such a flap the fawns moved on.  The little one in the middle was orphaned last fall and we have watched him all winter and prayed for his ability to make it through.  He is usually alone when we site him, but this day he has joined a pair of twins who have been weaned recently.   Warmer weather will arrive soon, and barring any additional hazards (geese not included), they should thrive.

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