Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wildlife in the Snow

New York was hit with yet another snow storm on Monday. I woke up to a blizzard caking my window with snow. I bravely hit the streets and caught some Winter Wildlife on camera (yeah!).

Don't you just love this Grey Squirrel? I particularly enjoyed his crossed  front paws as if to say "Seriously, snow again?" Spring is a hard time for Squirrels, their stashed nut have sprouted and trees aren't bearing any new ones. They survive by snaking on leaf buds. 

This sorry bunch of House Sparrows where hanging on for dear life huddled together for warmth on this low tree branch. I watched as people walked by oblivious to these birds close enough to touch. Although they are voracious seed eaters, they are also brilliantly opportunistic; it is reported that some have figured out the automatic sliding doors of supermarkets. These little buggers aren't shy either, I've seen them snatch fries from unsuspecting tourists many a time.

Surprise! Wildlife also includes plants. Wildlife is defined by Merriam Webster as "living things and especially mammals, birds, and fishes that are neither human nor domesticated". Without plants the world would be a very different place and life as we know it wouldn't exist. They are the base of all ecosystems, a very important position considering everything else is built upon it. 

These are oak leaves. Although no longer active, they linger or persist on the tree much longer than other deciduous species, species that loose their leaves seasonally. I love oak trees. They are a symbol of strength and endurance. They play an important role in mythology often associated with the God of Thunder and the doorway to the other world. They are also prized for their wood; oaks tend to have very straight trunks and large straight low bearing branches. 

The snow has already begun to melt on this sunny Tuesday afternoon. I'm really looking forward to spring and a change of coat. 

Take care!


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