|Yet another April snow|
|Just enough open water for the heron to hunt for food|
|Canada geese taking a stroll on the ice|
We have had enough warm days to get the sap flowing, and buckets are hung on sugar maples all around the Lakes Region. This is the scene beside the Lakeland School.
|Syrup being collected beside Lakeland School|
|Metal pails (and no snow), March, 2016|
|Sap collecting system at Prescott Farm in Laconia (January, 2016)|
|Classic sap bucket complete with hook to hang it on a tree|
|The hap-hazard trail typical of a skunk|
Like bears, skunks don't truly hibernate, though they will spend most of the winter sleeping away in their dens, only coming out during a warm spell to poke around for any available food. Their presence means they are hungry, wanting the snow to melt as well.
I took a hike up to a remote pond the day the snow fell to see what other animals were active; it was still misty and gray after the storm, but beautiful in its own way.
|Wachipauka Pond, Warren, NH|
There were lots of animal tracks along the way: Deer, coyote, snowshoe hare, bobcat, even a fisher - but no bear or moose tracks to be seen. I was amazed at the size of some of the hare tracks; I have nothing to show scale in this picture, but each track from front to hind foot is about two and half feet long.
|Snowshoe Hare tracks|
The larger prints are from the rear feet, and show how the foot spreads out to distribute the animals weight on the snow, lending it the name "snowshoe" hare. A snowshoe hare weighs almost twice that of a cotton tail rabbit.
Along the way I was happy to see a few signs of spring pushing through mother nature's stubborn hold on winter.
|This Hobblebush Viburnum, tired of waiting for spring, is pushing its buds out|