Signs of spring under the snow

May 14, 2010 at 5:12 pm (The Serious Stuff, Uncategorized) (, , , )

Even though it snowed here again, and for days now (and feet in some areas), earlier in the week, I saw some lovely signs of spring.

I drive my son to his school early in the morning – we have to be there by 5:45am so he can get the bus to the tech school he attends half day.  Under the eaves of the school, right near the library, swallows nest.  I sat and watched at least 30 swallows dive in and out, chasing the bugs Monday and Tuesday mornings.

On Monday afternoon, husband found a patch of pasque flowers in my side yard, in clumps rather than single like normal.

Upon arriving home at 6 am on Tuesday morning, I was surrounded by foxes!  The mountain area where I live used to be home to fox ranches for fur at the turn of the century; during the Depression, they shut down and most just released their remaining foxes into the wild, so this area has more than it’s normal share of foxes.

Now my yard is a bit odd – I have two driveways, since we have a corner lot. The first driveway goes to the garage.  The second is a semi-circle drive – comes in on the side road, and out on the main road.  The roads are dirt, so is the driveway, with large pines to either side of the drive and out at the road.

I pull into the second driveway, and see in front of me a fox standing in the driveway. To his right, there is another fox that popped up out of the culvert, and another even further to the right is yet another in the main part of the yard.

So I quickly turn off the car, and just sit. They stare at me for a moment,and then go back to their business.  The one to the left is hunting in the side yard.  After a few minutes, he gets bored and heads on down the road toward my back yard.  The one at the culvert is determined – keeps digging it out, first one end and then the other (on less summer chore for me!)  The third is happily standing on the stone circle in my yard, surveying the yard.  Suddenly he pounces, and comes up with a nice sized vole in his mouth!  He jumps back on the stone circle, ready to eat, but then sees more movement in the yard and tucks is first kill inside the stone circle, and chasing through the yard some more.

Circle fox(I’ll call him that because he spent most of his time perched on that circle) comes back, retrieves his vole, and eats it. Then he goes to help his culvert digging mate, standing at the other side of the culvert.  Something suddenly darts out of the culvert, and the  Culvert fox is after it, but misses it as it darts through the fence in the neighbor’s yard.  Circle fox returns to the rocks, and then eventually heads out across the yard, going around the far side.  The Culvert fox gives up and follows his friend.

20 minutes after arriving home, I get out of the car, happy to have seen these signs of spring.

Now, after snow starting on Tuesday afternoon, and continuing through this morning, the sun is finally out and snow is rapidly melting, even though we are supposed to get more snow this evening, spring is finally here.

The dogs barking at the ground squirrels through the window tell me so.

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