I just came indoors from splitting firewood in the woodshed.
This time of year, whenever it warms up above 20 degrees, I like to split wood by hand. It keeps me in some semblance of shape and I extend the stove wood supply for another couple of days. I learn new things when I go outside, and this morning I learned why the squirrels didn’t show up at the bird feeder for their feeding frenzy. It had dawned on me earlier that the squirrels were absent, although it was a mere fleeting observation. I found out, however, that the owl was lurking about, having posted itself on a nearby branch in clear view of the comings and goings of the squirrels, chickadees, and whatever other creatures were venturing out on the cold morning. I say “the owl” because this owl, a Bard Owl according to my wife and the bird book she refers to, has been a visitor to our house for the past couple of weeks.
I think owls eat chickadees as well as squirrels, rabbits, and mice. The chickadees were at the feeder this morning, paying little attention to their larger feathered kin. And I saw rabbit tracks in the nearby woods while checking on our beehives and then, on my return to the house, I spooked the owl from its perch and watched it fly into a nearby stand of spruce where it will, I’m sure, keep a keen look out for any squirrels attempting to cross over the snow from the woods to our bird feeder.