Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February First: Frustrating and Fantastic

When I looked out the window first thing this morning, there was a curtain of snow falling at an incredibly fast and dizzying pace. I was thinking that today would be a day of nothing but shoveling and plowing mountains of snow when a huge bird emerged from the whiteness. He was flying just above the level of the trees so low that even through the snow I could see the bald eagle's white head and tail . He flew directly over my head and down the ridge line of the house roof. I hurried to the other end of the house hoping for a second look but by the time I got there all that could be seen was falling snow. Wow!  What a fantastic way to start the day!

Ed spent nearly  the entire day outside working hard to push back the snow. Because of our January rain, a thick layer of ice covers the driveway. I'm afraid Ed's John Deere just wasn't up to the task. Even a slight incline sent the tractor's wheels  spinning.  The tire chains couldn't get a grip on the icy surface. Several times it took both of us to get the tractor unstuck.

 When Ed was plowing down by the large cherry tree, he had a close encounter with our resident mink. Face to face, Ed got a chance to admire the mink's sleek,  black fur coat and his bright shiny eyes. In a flash the mink was gone. When Ed came in for lunch told me of his experience with the mink.

Later in the afternoon I noticed movement  along the tree line beyond the garden.  It was the mink. His long black furry body was unmistakable. I watched as he went up the hill, his long body moving in an undulating fashion, alternately arching his back high and then stretching out flat. After going up the hill, he turned and made his body long and straight then slid down the hill on the snow's surface.  He looked like he was having so much fun. I watched the mink for a long time as worked his way across the hill. Sometimes the slides were short, but once he slid from the top of the hill nearly to the bottom. I squealed with delight. That brought  Ed to find out what I was watching. I pointed out where the mink was on the hill so he could watch for movement. It was right then that two animals headed right toward us.

 A rabbit was the first animal to come into view.  Moving through the deep snow slowed the rabbit's pace.  He was followed by the mink, leaping through the snow, hot on his trail. For a moment I thought the day would take a frightful turn, but the lucky  rabbit finding newly plowed ground escaped. The mink continued to sniff around the area for sometime, finally disappearing behind the piles of snow.

Ed and I agreed it was time to call in professional  help for the driveway. It was very dark when the plow came. I watched the flashing, colored  lights of the truck as he pushed back the snow. Tomorrow whatever snow comes, the big truck will rescue us!


Beth at PlantPostings said...

Great story! It's hard to believe we'll soon see new plant growth under all the snow in our northern gardens!

WiseAcre said...

The snow didn't start here until the middle of last night. It was still snowing as the sun went down today.

I wish I was there to see the show. I've only had fleeting glimpses of mink except for a dead one we found in old house. There wasn't a mark on it and have no idea what happened to it. Don't laugh - my wife kept it in the freezer for a year because it was so cute.

Big Sister said...

I once watched a pair of minks slicing down the mud bank of the river in West Virginia. They really seem to have a lot of fun! I wish I could have seen the one on the snow but I will just have to use my imagination. Thanks for the story.