Weather at Bedford, Hanscom Field, MA - via NOAA's National Weather Service

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Yesterday I heard one of those nasty "thud" sounds that means a bird has hit a window.  I looked out the window to see if it was a small thump, allowing the bird to fly away, or something more serious.  We have between two and three feet of snow on the ground, so if anything landed in it by accident, it would be in danger of freezing.  I could see a few brown feathers sticking out of the snow, but I couldn't tell if the poor critter was alive or not.  I quickly donned the gloves and high boots I keep by the back door at this time of year, for dumping compost and filling bird feeders, and went out to investigate further.  It was a little house finch, head down in the snow.  I picked up the poor little guy, carefully righting it and resting it back in the snow.  Then I thought it might be too cold directly on the snow - though the snow would reduce any swelling and bruising that might occur.  I'm not a vet, nor a biologist, so I can only do what seems to make sense to me.  I very gently picked up the bird again, without the snow, and put it carefully on the ledge of what we call the squirrel feeder.  Its head was turned, and I couldn't tell if it was simply stunned, or badly injured.  It sat quietly on the ledge for a while - fifteen minutes? - and I looked out a few times to see if it was still there.  But did I think to take a photo?  No!  Silly me.  Anyway, at one point I looked and it was there and when I turned back a few seconds later, it was gone!  It had not fallen off the ledge - I checked the ground below.  I suppose the Cooper's hawk that has been hanging around might have gotten it, but I think I would have noticed a bird that large swooping down right outside my windows.  So I am hoping that the pretty little finch recovered from its head banging and is now hanging out with its finch buddies again.  It's a rough world out there - I hope I did the right thing.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Winter sunset

On my afternoon walk with the dog

Monday, January 17, 2011


Mouse tracks in the snow

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


My front deck this morning

Friday, January 7, 2011


I was out walking the other day, and I noticed this:

Can you see all the wood chips around the bottom of the tree trunk?  That is always a sign to look around, to see where they came from.  So I did, and when I looked up, I saw this:

Only one critter, that I know of, makes those big oblong holes in a tree - a pileated woodpecker!  I know they are in these woods, but in spite of their being so big and noisy, I rarely see them.  It is great to see signs like this.

A little ways away from this dead tree, I saw this:

Another dead tree, another hole - more than one, actually.  But this hole was very close to the ground, and much larger inside than out.  Who made it?  Upon closer examination, I saw this:

I still don't know exactly who made the hole, but a little mouse (white-footed mouse? wood mouse?) has been using it as a dining room.  Look at those munched acorns - they look like the ones I find in the corners of my shed.  So I call this a mouse house!

It would be really neat to see all the creatures that I know are out there in "my" woods and meadows, but it is also very mysterious and intriguing to know that they are there, unseen.  I imagine they see us far more often than we see them.  So many secrets held in the outdoors...