Things are still pretty quiet around the preserve, but the fun thing about nature is that it is always changing so you never know what you are going to discover on a given day. Yesterday turned out to be a day of curiosities. The picture below is the first mystery.
The mystery. What kind of bird was it and what happened? A closer look at the feathers and zooming in to the large feather in the picture below revealed part of the mystery.
|Gray feather with white tip
The feathers are those of a mourning dove. This dove was probably “recycled” by a hawk or owl, I have seen this scenario before and once actually witnessed a copper’s hawk devour a cardinal, leaving a scatter pile of feathers.
Later in the day, as Nora and I were checking the route for a future hike. we came across the usual tree below.
|Spiral-shaped tree trunk
The clue to what caused this curiosity can be seen just above the spiral section. It is a small light colored piece of an old vine ( probably honeysuckle), While the vine was alive and growing, it constricted the normal growth of the tree as the vine wound its way up the tree to get sunlight. The vine has since died leaving behind the twisted looking tree.
|Walking Fern- note the long tips
So as you can see, even during the January thaw, there are curiosities and mysteries to unravel in the winter woods.