Outside the Kitchen Window

I sometimes forget how different my lifestyle is from others but I never take it for granted. We have a television and it’s on if Steve is home. When I’m home alone, which is most of the time, it’s probably off. I watch nature outside the kitchen window. This morning the show was quite busy.

We have apples for the bakery that aren’t storing as well as I’d hoped so little by little we’re feeding them to the wildlife. Now that hunting season is over we can be less careful about where we dump the apples so they’re now be shared in the food plot as well as the field. I stirred flour and water into sourdough starter while watching six turkeys peck at apples. They scratched in the grass uncovered by Steve when he plowed a strip to and beyond the hen house.

Blue jays and mourning doves land at the apples, and I assume they’re eating but I don’t know that for certain. If they aren’t, I can’t imagine why they keep going back. It isn’t a good situation for the high population of mourning doves. As I washed dishes this afternoon I spotted a moving streak of white against the snow. An ermine. Ermine skedaddled across the snow and stopped behind a tuft of tall dead grass. The jays and doves looked nervous, though they always look this way when out in the open. Ermine moved another foot or two closer and stopped. And then a little closer. Just as it was ready to land on a mourning dove the entire flock of birds erupted into the air. Ermine came up empty pawed. I’m guessing it’s probably not starving since two days ago it did kill a dove which it then dragged under the sun porch.

Ermine from a previous winter.
stoat, short-tailed weasel, weasel, ermine

If it’s a cooking day I’m back and forth to the sink to wash my hands at least a dozen times. I look out to the field and food plot to see what’s happening. The rut is just about over. The bucks are coming back together as friends after spending a few weeks willing to kill each other to win the girls, and they’re in the food plot during the day. The almost-a-six point (he’d probably measure as a four) is out there with what I believe are his mother, his button buck brother and spike horn brother. The spike hasn’t left his mother. I’m certain that button buck, spike and doe are family. The six point’s antlers seem to be a larger version of the spike’s. We’ll see what spike looks like if he comes back around next year.

Wild turkeys, ermine, occasional coyote and bobcat, the deer, the rest of the birds. The bear are in torpor, napping away the winter. I wonder about their condition in April after an early hibernation.