Friday, March 6, 2015

Black Squirrel

When we moved into our new home, we noticed that we have a very pretty, solid black, squirrel on the property. Its fur is so black that it’s shiny. We think there’s only one, but it’s hard to be sure. We have grey squirrels too, but as I’d never seen black squirrels before, I had to look it up. Apparently, they are the same species as the grey.

“The black squirrel is a melanistic subgroup of the eastern gray squirrel. They are common in the Midwestern United States, easternCanada, and parts of the Northeastern United States and the United Kingdom.” – from Wiki.

and they are likely the result of an import from Canada:

“The first batch of black squirrels — eight in number — was sent to the National Zoo in 1902 by Thomas W. Gibson, Ontario’s superintendent for parks. Smithsonian secretary Samuel P. Langley, in his report to Congress that year, wrote that the squirrels were accepted “in exchange,” and, indeed, checking Canadian records, Answer Man discovered that Rondeau park received an unspecified number of gray squirrels from the Smithsonian. (They are “doing nicely,” reported park caretaker Isaac Gardiner.)”  - from an article in the Washington Post by columnist John Kelly.

Our little squirrel is very hard to photograph as she’s quite skittish and runs like mad whenever we walk out the door, but I caught a few today as she was digging in the snow by the maple tree.

She sees me already…


I got a little closer… (and zoomed in)


She’s got snow on her head!


Too close! Run away!


Ah well. Some day I’ll get a good photo of it! Also, here are some pictures of the pretty (but cold) day we’re having today. Bright sun, blue sky, white snow! It’s lovely.


Cold work (but we’re still not ready to move back to the land of sand)

This is the un-fun part of snow. Getting rid of the snow so we can get out of the house. We just heard that the kids have another day off of school tomorrow – text message beeped in and there was much cheering - but Brad may have to work, so we went out to clear the driveway.

Honor also tried to get a bit more sledding in, but the snow was too deep! She just sank right into the fluff!


She helped shovel a little bit…


I told her she looked too happy, that kids doing chores were supposed to be sad. She couldn’t make a convincing frown!


Brad brought out the serious tool. Our big yellow snow beast. We ought to come up with a name for it.


Driving this yellow beast up and down the hill is hard work. It has a mind of it’s own.


Brad was working up a sweat, but it was still snowing. He ended up with snow melting and re-freezing as ice on his hair, face, glasses, and clothes.


The snow beast worked well over the gravel part of the drive too.


It powered up the hill and really kicked the snow way out… he was painting the trees with the thrown snow, way off to the side.


Total accumulation today? 7.5 inches.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Another Snow Day

This forecast did not miss. It was sure enough that the schools cancelled last night. Brad’s work did not call it until this morning. We’ve got almost 7” of new accumulation so far and about 4 more hours of expected snowfall. At least this is the pretty variety of snow. Soft and drifty. Coating the branches and trees with a gorgeous layer of white. It’s more to shovel, but it sure is pretty out there.


The snow on the screen has Ninja concerned!


Here are some photos that Honor took.


The neighbor’s horses were running around, kicking up snow and rearing at each other. As she said, “They were horsing around.”


Even the swings have several inches of snow accumulated!