Here we are again… winter is upon us. (And it’s 2016, I’ve not written here for awhile!)
Winter. Not quite official on the calendar yet but the indicators are all here: colder temperatures, shorter daylight, sky that is more often grey than blue, (at least here in New Hampshire) fewer birds, the smell of woodsmoke, the crackle of fire in the stove, puffy quilts, warm socks, hot tea … Winter is not my favorite season but like most hard core New Englander’s, I embrace the beginning of it like a happy reunion with an old friend, all cozy and nostalgic. By February though, that friend has become an annoying, guest who just won’t leave. It happens every time!
Oh well, time to gather in. For me, it’s a wonderful time to work in the studio. With fewer outdoor distractions like birding, gardening and swimming… I can better focus. All those creative ideas that lie waiting in my sketch books are ready to be brought to life. Hopefully the muse will awaken from her lazy, summer nap.
It certainly has been awhile since I last wrote here. I’ve been busy. Lot’s of painting to do as well as life in general so the blog sort of fell by the wayside. But here I am willing to share new art, photos, thoughts, opinions… maybe even a poem or two…
Spring is finally here. Always a good time to start again with anything. Warmth, light, blossoms, birds and all the critters. The loons are back in Jobs Creek. Eerily calling to each other, flapping and displaying postures of courtship. So wonderful to fall asleep each night to the sound of their distant trills.
Last week we stumbled upon this little snake under a wood plank in our yard. The Northern ring necked snake. Apparently nocturnal. Quite handsome with his little pink necktie. Also common. A first for me.
Such a strange tradition on February 2nd BUT I’m so happy that the “official” groundhog did not see their shadow. So we are in for an early spring! Always good news at this time of year, especially if you live in New Hampshire.
The above image is of a baby woodchuck (a.k.a. groundhog) I managed to photograph a few years ago. He/she is peeking out from a stonewall which is just up the road. I was driving by and stopped immediately when I saw it’s little face. We had a brief staring contest for a couple of minutes and I won. Adorable!
Today marks the first new day of this old experiment… my blog. Originally, this blog was intended for my artwork, like a website, for exposure. But that became too much pressure. Now I have a new and improved website that works just fine. (See the new URL at the bottom of this post.)
Yay! I can use the blog for other random things, being the amateur naturalist that I am. And I will post when I feel like it instead of feeling like I have to. A warning to anyone reading this: there will be errors! Typos, incorrect spelling, bad grammar, weird punctuation, you name it. But that is okay. This is just journaling for me and the pressure for perfection is off. I’ll do my best but I like a relaxed way of writing out loud. It’s good for me and it’s fun!
So… the other night (I think it was Friday night) we were visited by a very scary sounding, barking critter. Which has been happening very frequently for the past month, sometimes right next to the house, like it was the other night, and at all hours. I think it was around 8:30pm. The sound really sets the dogs off and even though I turned on the outside light, the scary bark didn’t stop. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see anything. It barked repeatedly in a pattern of three barks with a long pause (sort of a loud, eerie , screaming bark) for about 10 min. and then eventually moved on. I wondered if it was a fisher? A bobcat? An owl? In the morning I looked for tracks or anything that would give me a clue but between all of our dog’s tracks and the frozen snow pack, nothing was revealed. After a bit of searching the internet through many samples of wild animal sounds, I’m pretty sure what we have is a fox claiming our yard as territory. No surprise. The birdseed and suet feeders attract a lot of mice, voles, shrews and flying squirrels. (see photo) To a fox it must be an all night buffet! Grey or red fox, I’m not sure. We see them both here. And in all the sound bytes, they sound the same to me. But now, NOT so scary after all, now that I know what it is! < http://www.susanparmenter.com >