What a strange winter this has been! Although December and January proved warmer than usual, which should have provided enough exposed food to keep the wildlife well hidden, we still had an infestation in our yard one day. A noise coming from the direction of our birdfeeder caused us to look out back and discover that we had been invaded by no less than 36 rather large turkeys. To the dismay of our local squirrels, this ravenous tribe quickly scoffed up the seed scattered around the feeders before returning back into the woods. But this wasn’t the end of it. The next morning while I was in that state between sleep and consciousness a sound made its way into my dreams. When it came a second time, although still in a state of sleep, I was able to discern that it was an animal of some sort. Finally struggling into wakefulness, I looked out my window to be confronted by a rather fat turkey staring at me from the other side of the glass. Again they had come to scout out the food situation. They stayed for a few days before moving on to better food sources, but it was interesting to watch our local wildlife up close for a little while.
The warming trend continued through the end of January, confusing some plants into a springtime growth. On January 28th, I was walking through town when something caught my eye. I had to stop and kneel down to get a closer look at what would not have happened in a normal winter. But there they were; the first crocus shoots pushing up from the earth. I only hoped that the winter temperatures predicted for the next 10 days would not destroy these brave soldiers of spring.