Yesterday morning I took this picture of the ice forming across our bay. The temps have been in the single digits for several days now, so I guess I knew I was looking at the last of the open water.
This morning we woke up to a totally covered bay.
I'm not ready for this! It's way too early for the open water to disappear. Winter is still two weeks away. I'm hoping a huge north wind will come along and shove the ice toward shore again, but the odds are that the ice cover will be there until spring.
Every year soon after the bay freezes over we watch the deer gingerly work their way out there. How they know it's frozen enough for them to walk on, I can't even fathom. But we've never seen them fall through.
They're like little kids exploring this new territory--they wander aimlessly around, checking it out, and then when they've had enough fun, they amble back to the trees. There is no food out there, so it's not as if they have to go there. There is no protection out there, so it's a bit of a gamble for them. But, like little kids, they throw caution to the winds and just wanna have fun.
I love that about them.
Yesterday, we watched this little squirrel wander into the trap to eat the bait on the spring-loaded lever that slams the doors shut when and if he sets it off. This little bugger ate it all and then calmly wandered out again. If the doors had slammed shut on him, my husband would have put the cage in the trunk and then would have driven the little guy to a lovely squirrel resort area far enough away from habitation that he won't make a pest of himself. He would be joining a vast immigrant population that have been transported over the years in this same cage by this same human. We don't harm animals here, but neither do we want to open our doors to them.
We used to buy bushels of corn to feed the deer before we realized how easily disease spread through their population when they congregated too closely or fed from the same trough. Now we throw out a few apple peelings for them and let them dig through the compost pile for leavings, but they know we're not a reliable source of food. We need to keep it that way, even though there's a real chance that some of them won't make it through the winter.
I've long ago given up trying to figure out the hows and whys of Mother Nature. Can't live with her, can't live without her. . .