PHENOLOGY FRIDAY - CHRISTMAS EVE EDITION
It seems like we've experienced three of the four seasons in the last week with temperatures ranging from -7 to 53 degrees Fahrenheit. Naturalist Julia Kuhns illustrated the change in her dramatic image showing the bog from a few months ago to today. We enjoyed seeing all the tracks in the snow, and observing where our are animal friends are travelling. Marla Richter spotted some interesting tracks in the snow (pictured). One is the wings of a crow, the other the tunnel created by a mouse or vole. A mysterious mustelid was spotted on the lake. It was about 16 inches long, and brown with a 5-inch long pointed tail. Our first guess was that it was a short-tailed weasel, but it was entirely brown. The coloring would be atypical for a weasel in the winter who turn completely white in the autumn. Our next guess was a mink. A good guess that fits the description, but not common here at Long Lake. Unfortunately, it bounded into the cattails before we could make a thorough identification. Any other guesses? At the feeders, we are seeing Nuthatches, Chickadees and Pileated, Red-Bellied, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers (and a handful of chunky grey squirrels). We've seen no signs of the beavers or otters this week. The Winter Solstice was Wednesday, marking the first official day of Winter, and the beginning of longer days. We wish you peace, health and happiness as you spend time this holiday season with your favorite mammals
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