We got more snow last night. It seems like it snows every week now and the landscape is pretty well covered, over and over again. In the yard it must be a solid foot or more of undisturbed snowpack. You can see where the deer have trudged through favorite routes and the occasional random path dotted like a quilter's pricked pattern. The snow by their drinking place at the stream is all churned up. Everywhere else it's pristine and unmarked.
Yesterday I was watching a bold little squirrel leave his tree and scamper across the glistening, untouched snow. He didn't even leave footprints because he's not heavy enough and the snow was lightly iced over. But with great purpose, he bee-lined out into the middle of the yard, stopped suddenly, checked for safety and then started digging. I mean straight down. Like a cartoon, he scratched away at the hard snow and burrowed head first, bottom up, snow flying. He would back out every now and then, look around and dive back into his tunnel. So funny to watch, only the tip of his excited tail waving in the air, the rest of him upended inside the snow.
I was close enough that he knew I was watching. Dig, dig, wiggle, dig. And then after a steady minute or so, he came back up with a walnut sized ball. He gave me one more suspicious look and ran off with his prize. I know this is what squirrels are all about, but how did he know that nut was right there? Exactly there? Directly under a foot of frozen snow? Because I'm telling you, he knew. Absolutely. With every hungry shiver of his little self. He knew it was right there. Seriously impressive!
An hour later, the UPS guy dropped a box on my steps. I had to dig my way through all the packing peanuts to get to the sample towels and aprons I recently designed for Natural Life. My favorite in the bunch was and still is "the fishing squirrel." And there he was. Right on top.
Love those smart, cute, rascally squirrels.