Sunday, February 7, 2016

Beauty Multiplied

By Joann M. Ringelstetter

On February 2, a snowstorm was predicted for much of Wisconsin, starting by around 9:00 am in the Madison area. There was a light dusting of snow on the ground when I awoke, but the next several hours turned out to be pretty uneventful. By late morning, it began to snow heavily. As I watched, the snowflakes grew bigger and bigger and I saw two deer outside the living room window. They were looking for any birdseed that had fallen from the birdfeeder.

Then I noticed two more deer in the woods. By then the snow was coming down so heavily, I didn’t know if I would be able to capture any photos of them. As I focused my camera lens on the two deer in the woods, they began to nuzzle each other.

When the two deer near the house discovered that there wasn’t much food to be had below the birdfeeder, they headed up the hill into the woods to join the other two. An hour later, when I thought these deer were long gone, I saw them resting in the snow not far from where they were standing when I photographed them.

In addition to the deer, the squirrels were very active during the snowstorm. One was seeking shelter from the snow that was now being blown by the wind.

Another was frantically digging under piles of snow and occasionally popping up with a seed in its paws.

And then there was the female pileated woodpecker that comes on a regular basis to the peanut feeder hanging right next to the window.

Her flaming-red crest looked even more brilliant with the white snow behind it. And I was feeling extremely blessed to have such wonderful wildlife and such a beautiful snowfall to watch and to capture with my camera.

Although Groundhog Day was wrapped in a wintry snowstorm, both Wisconsin’s famous groundhog, Jimmy, and Pennsylvania’s, Punxsutawney Phil, predicted an early spring. Meanwhile, Ruth and I are planning our spring escape to the backroads of Ohio.

Happy Shunpiking!

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