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Monday, March 3, 2008

Nature Notes

Saturday, March 1, 2008
Today is a blustery start to what is supposed to be a promising new month, considering that it is the month of the spring equinox. The wind is whooshing through the tall trees, causing them to sway. At the present, it's bright and sunny, but it could change if the clouds continue to roll in.

After lunch I went out and did my very first "gardening" chore of the year. It was only +6C, but it felt warmer in the sun, and I was in a sheltered spot out of the wind. With a shovel I lifted the softened snow out of the compost bin and separated the clumps of compost material that had accumulated over the winter months. I think perhaps I am getting spoiled. In the thirty years I've lived here, I've never been able to do anything about the compost until much later. It's just in the last few years that the weather patterns seem to have changed, and the winters haven't been quite so cold as they used to be.

Sunday, March 2, 2008
7:20 a.m.

This morning I was up early enough to witness a beautiful sunrise. I hurriedly put on my boots and coat and went out into the frosty air. The little redpolls were grouped together in a patch of gravel on the road, and it was quiet and still except for the sound of a few chirping birds.

Just as I was going to take one more picture of the sun's stunning display, I heard another bird loudly calling behind me. It flew over the driveway and straight to a hydro pole. It was a Pileated Woodpecker!! He clung to the hydro pole near the top (not a safe place to be) and commenced hammering away, powerful beak on dead wood - a resonating sound that ruined the early morning silence. W----- and I were both worried about the danger this large woodpecker was in, and we wished he would get off that pole pronto. Thankfully, he didn't dally long, and, to our great relief, flew to another spot.