It's amazing to me, despite the strong, still silence that usually seems to accompany the snow, how much life, sound, and activity is going on even with the cold,wintery blanket. With having snow that has stayed for so long now, we have made sure to have our bird feeders fully stocked for our flying friends that might otherwise have a few of their favorite snacks buried at the moment.
I have very much missed our pheasants that seemed to have wondered into our backyard quite frequently last year. This year only one lone pheasant found his way back. But to my surprise, we had an early visitor for Easter this year... "Mr. Hare". I guess I would generally have the tendency to apply the term "rabbit" for our friend, but having lived in Germany for some time now, I have have learned that there are distinct words for distinct things. (sometimes to an extreme) But I thoroughly enjoyed watching our friend through the window nibbling on a few buds that were within reach. Curious about the difference between a rabbit and a hare?
Our most entertaining friends have been the sweet, little red squirrels that seem to scamper out as fast as they scamper in. I have caught several of them in the bird feeder stealing what they could before the few territorial birds that guard the feeder flew back in. In West Virginia we do not really have this smaller red version, but it is the gray squirrel that dominates. We had put out a few cracked walnuts that had been gathered earlier in the fall, with the bowl of whole nuts just above on our outside table. It was quite entertaining to watch the squirrels hoping back and forth to sneak one nut at a time, only to scurry away to their favorite "secret" hiding place. The look of shock was priceless when one fluffy friend ran back and discovered the bowl was empty. One could almost see the confusion and shock, and I imagine something like "hey, I know this is where the nuts were yesterday" was running through his furry little head.
There is now a small glimmer of hope in my heart that the snow will soon be melted and spring will finally come with it's beautiful array of green and colors. One could easily reflect that one good thing about the snow is that it forces one to stop and linger a little longer and spend a little more time enjoying the things that one would miss should things not be so still.