Last night's winds took down (the dead) half of the trunk of one of the trees south of the house. If the wind dies down and the temperatures climb a little, I'll take a photo. The number of moss, bacteria, fungi etc. that utilize decaying wood is a constant source of surprise. It's also surprising to see the remainder of the tree still standing, but for how long? How long would you last if you were cleaved (clove?) in half? Woodpeckers and other cavity nesters should find some spots to excavate and there probably are, or will be, carpenter ants for protein.
|a chipper-looking chickadee|
Photo by J. Harrington
I watched a handful of chickadees appear to chase each other around the trees and through the understory in front of the house this morning. Since nesting season is still months away, I have no idea what that behavior is all about. Does anyone have a suggestion? One of my Christmas presents is a book about discovering the world hidden in a square meter of forest. For me, that also involves learning what it is I've discovered, a neverending story.
UPDATE [12/27/16]: The Christmas present book, The Forest Unseen, offers a potential explanation of the chickadee chasing behavior. "...each chickadee flock in the forest defends a winter territory from which neighbors are vigorously excluded." The winter territory is where food caches are stored.
I wonder if next year, as a special present, I could get Santa to bring Spring for New Year's. This icy, windy stuff just doesn't do it for me. Other than that, we had a wonderful Christmas and hope yours was likewise.
The backyard is one white sheetWhere we read in the bird tracksThe songs we hear. DelicateSparrow, heavier cardinal,Filigree threads of chickadee.And wing patterns where one flewLow, then up and away, goneTo the woods but calling outClearly its bright epigrams.More snow promised for tonight.The postal van is stalledIn the road again, the mailWill be late and any good newsWill reach us by hand.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.