I know there are lots of animals that move through the holler, but often the only evidence I see of them is in the soft earth or mud on the lane. It's been busy out there lately. In the photo below, the little tracks on the left were made sometime on the 23rd, and the ones going the opposite direction were there yesterday when I took a second photo. The big track (nice for size comparison) belongs to my Walker hound.
Tracks on the lane, February 24, 2014. [Photo credit: Cathie Bird]
Here's a closer view of the northbound tracks, with an older southbound track in the lower left corner:
Today on my way down the holler, I spotted some dafodil leaves that popped up some time in the past 24 hours -- just in time for the snow tomorrow:
Dafodils emerge in my rock garden, February 25, 2014. [Photo credit: Cathie Bird]
On Saturday the 22nd -- a really warm day here -- I saw my first butterfly of the year, and what I think was a honey bee. At first I thought the butterfly might be one of the commas, but I got close enough later to see that it wasn't. It was really skittery. The coloration was suggestive of a comma or crescent, but it was too big for a crescent. I never did get close enough to identify it.
This winter a large group of eastern towhees has inhabited the holler. I have seen one or two of these occasionally in other years, but never so many. They love the winter tangle of sumac, blackberry canes, multiflora rose brambles, and the stalks of lespedeza, milkweed and virgin's bower along the lane. I almost got a good photo of one of the females the other day, but didn't quite get all of her in the frame. There is a female cardinal that has been hanging out with them as well. Within the past week or so I have heard the first distinctly male calls of both cardinals and chickadees in this new year.
Today the blue jay crowd was pretty busy, so I'm guessing the weather people are correct about the snow on the way in. I am so ready for spring!
I did a post at another blog on the holler's seismic neighborhood if you want to check it out.