This is  the third snowfall in a week and the snow is mounding high on the tree branches and fence tops. Two or three squirrels prospect for food. One knocks a high branch that unloads its weight of snow and knocks snow from lower branches in a cascade of snow mist.  The squirrel stares in astonishment as if wondering “Who did that?”

Along my back fence the snow lies in a scalloped pattern, with regular, elegant hills and valleys. This is a gift from a squirrel. As he hopped along the fence, early in the snowfalls, his landing spots became the dips and his little leaps have formed the peaks of the scalloping. So simple and so elegant.

Only a few birds visit the garden now. There is the varied thrush that has come regularly for the last week to finish off the pyracantha berries. They are pretty much finished now, or concealed by the snow, but still he hopes for a small snack. A thundering herd of bush tits visited the feeder. Flighty little things, pecking madly for two or three minutes then flying off together in search of something better.

Where are the chickadees, the towhees, the juncos? All the regular inhabitants seem to be gone. what food sources are they finding under a foot or more of snow?


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