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A Visit to the Creek in Search of Winter

January 4, 2007

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Chers Amis,

It has been strangely warm this winter.  This should be perfect weather for me, who so hates cold, but I miss the chill. Winter seems to be hiding.  So, we went out yesterday seeking her, but to no avail.  Spring seemed to have invaded Georgia. Our daffodils are well up and the Camellia is in full bloom.  We decided  to walk to down to the small creek that runs along our property line.  We have had over 2 inches of rain this week and we knew that the sandy banks would be damp.  Perfect for finding animal tracks. 

    On the way down to the water, we spied an odd flowering100_0977 evergreen shrub with a lemony scent and holly-shaped  leaves. It was Leatherleaf Mahonia (Mahonia bealei). It usually blooms in LATE January or early February. Too early, but a interesting surprise.

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As we expected the creek’s banks were emblazoned with footprints, probably raccoon since they lack the  thumb of the Oppossum. 
Three rambunctious baby raccoons visited our deck two years ago and Caddie found a skull and a pelvis in a hollow tree that may have been raccoon – or possum.

We’ll never know.  The dog found them.   We also found scat on a
nearby log – this is typical of raccoons.

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  Always wash your hands after a nature walk because raccoons leave their droppings – and parasites on logs.  Some are harmful to humans. 

Here are a few helpful links we found on animal tracks:

Animal Tracks: Who do these tracks belong to? (game)

Mammal Tracks and signs – photos, many tracks in snow

Animal Finder (scroll down)

It was a brief jaunt, no one fell in and we found a few new nature notables – but no Old Man Winter.  — Marjorie

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2007 4:45 pm

    Marjorie, first let me say, your new blog is beautiful – and your picture is lovely!

    This post was so interesting to read. We spent today out in the yard “looking” for Winter and finding too much Spring, lol! Even up here in New England we seem to be missing the cold days. I wonder when/if this will turn around?

  2. January 4, 2007 7:15 pm

    I like the new blog. It is so easy to do over here. What do you think so far?

  3. January 5, 2007 12:02 am

    Thanks for the great links for identifying tracks. That is something we are working on over the next few days while we have all this snow.

  4. January 5, 2007 7:25 am

    I love the site. I LOVE the photos. It is beautiful there.

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