As I look outside at this years never-ending winter landscape, I have been enjoying the sights and sounds of the various forms of wildlife that are also enduring this winter.  My daughter is calling me the crazy bird lady, as I am often to be found filling up the many bird feeders that are just outside the door of the house.   The birds provide endless movement and entertainment. Chipmunks and squirrels may drive me insane most of the year,as they get inside places where they should be outside of. However, right now they amuse me as I start to see them scurry from tree to tree, getting closer and closer to the bird feeder,  to get the seed that is scattered on the ground.

I think I am so enticed by these small creatures, as there is otherwise so little to enjoy about the winter landscape right now.  The snow is still deep enough that I can’t walk through it, and my dogs can’t  run through it .  They have seen bunnies at the bird feeder as well, and though they bark and quiver, they won’t even attempt to give chase right now. They are so bored with being inside that I caught them trying out a new vegetarian menu, eating birch catkins! But on the plus side, the temperature is edging up towards the positive numbers, the buds are starting to swell on the branches, and the days are getting longer.  I have even seen the sun for more than two days in a week!

On the minus side, I can start to see the damage that this winter has wrought upon my trees, shrubs, perennials and sod. As well as broken branches from the ice storm, those cute little bunnies have eaten many shrubs right down to the ground. The damage to the sod and perennials can’t be blamed on animals, that is due to snowblowing and plowing the driveway and walkway.  I fear for my 10′ Rose of Sharon that disappeared into a snowbank, that was then pushed back from the edge of the driveway. I think it is now only about 1′ high.

We landscapers and gardeners are a most optimistic group.  We will be cleaning up, pruning and mulching just as soon as the ground is visible.  We will be taking note of new plant varieties at Canada Blooms, eager to replace our damaged beauties with even bigger and better plants. And I am sure that I will shortly be shaking my fist at the squirrels, the chipmunks and the bunnies, as well as the resident pair of pigeons, that are so amusing to me right now, while landscaping is only going on in my mind and on paper!