Wednesday, February 04, 2015

From little acorns, six whitetail deer!

We have five oaks in our back yard, and last year they gave such a bumper crop of acorns that it was a hazard walking down to the dock, like stepping on ball bearings. As any countryman knows, a heavy crop of acorns means a hard winter, and so it has proved--we've had nearly four feet of snow in the past week, with more promised on Thursday.

Last night in the moonlight, I watched six deer browsing in the yard. Either they paw the snow away or they do it with their snouts, but they'll browse at the same spot for a long time before moving on.

Which raises two questions: One, how does an oak forecast a snowy winter? And two, how does a deer tell an oak from a maple?

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