Posted tagged ‘New York winter storm’

New York Winter Storm: Animals in Winter

December 19, 2009

It’s snowing!

And they say it’s going to be a Big Snow. How will the animals stay warm?

First of all, feathers.

Feathers

Above is my feather collection from walks with Esau over the last year.  Below are my favorites: a blue jay feather and a red-tail hawk feather. Look at the size difference!

The really warm stuff is the downy underlayer. Now that’s cozy.

As for mammals, well, Esau loves the cold. Here he is last winter:

Esau's first Big Snow

I keep warm with help from the birds: a down-filled L.L. Bean coat so toasty I have to unzip it after ten minutes walking.

Squirrels spend the coldest days snuggled into their big, fluffy tails, deep inside a drey or hole, made cozy with leaves, fur and feathers. All they need is a cup of hot cocoa and a couple of board games.  The little guys were very active this morning, chasing each other along the retaining wall and  carrying mouthfuls of leaves and white fluffy stuff – down, maybe – into a hole in the wall. Maybe they can tell when a storm is coming.

Raccoons pack on the pounds in the late fall and early winter. When the cold comes, the whole family piles into the den to live off excess body fat for up to a month. Metabolism slows, but it’s not a true hibernation.

I’m guessing they enter a strange, dozy sleep with slow dreams that go on for days. I wouldn’t mind finding my way into a fat raccoon’s winter dream to wander about for just a little while.

Feather Bouquet


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