Tag Archives: vole

Spring is in the air

So it looks like spring is in the air. I would not dare to claim that spring has arrived. It’s in the air, like the smell of something yummy simmering and tempting us of greater things to come. The deep freeze has finally relented and we are back at more seasonal temperatures.

One of my recent “resolutions” is to get out into Nature more often. Now, “more often” is unacceptably vague. It’s like saying, “I will loose some weight”. Anyone into fitness and weight loss would tell you that “loosing some weight” just does not cut it. It needs to be specific. So, lets quantify what spending more time in Nature means to me. My aim is (currently) to head out into Nature at least twice a week, once during the work-week and a second time, for a longer outing, during the weekend. I have been doing well over the last few weeks, often going birding several times during the week and weekend. Undoubtedly the milder weather and the brighter evenings make it easier and more appealing to head out.

During a walk earlier this week at Whitemud Creek we tested our new camera, a Canon SX70 HS. My son managed to get a nice picture of a Black-capped Chickadee, something I found notoriously difficult as these tiny feathered bundles seem to be in constant motion. I did however manage to get a shot of a Southern Red-backed Vole peeking out of a tunnel in the snow trying to grab a sunflower seed. Southern Red-backed Voles are active throughout the winter and spend their time under the snow-pack in the subnivean zone. Here they enjoy protection from the elements  and construct long tunnels as travel corridors. These forest dwelling voles are short-lived, with a maximum life-span of about one year, and depend on coniferous, deciduous and mixed forests. 

A Black-Capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapus) enjoying the spring in the air. Photo: Matias.
Southern Red-backed Vole (Myodes gapperi) peaking out of its snow tunnel in search of a snowflower seed snack. Photo: Mario Pineda.
Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) enjoying a snack. Photo: Matias.

May the curiosity be with you. This is from “The Birds are Calling” blog (www.thebirdsarecalling).