Nearby Nature – February 2015

For background information on the benefits of noticing nearby nature, please read this post.

Here are three nature things I noticed while out and about in our neighbourhood this month:

1. Backyard deer – A small herd of Rocky Mountain Mule deer spends part of each winter browsing, sleeping and generally hanging out in our backyard and our neighbours’ backyards. There are no fences between the backyards along our street, so the deer wander back and forth, sometimes running a few strides if something startles them. We’ve seen as many as eight deer in our backyard this winter. After an early February snowfall, this one spent a fair bit of time moving the fresh blanket of snow off a large patch of Dwarf Fleeceflowers in our backyard garden. I must have made some kind of noise when I moved to the basement window to get this photograph – just enough sound to get a great portrait!

Rocky-Mountain-Mule-Deer

2. Sunset – Our back deck is a great viewing platform for sunsets. I try to make a habit of observing how the sun goes down just a little bit further south each evening from winter solstice through summer solstice. Depending on cloud conditions and which mountain peaks are directly between our yard and the sun as it goes down, crepuscular rays occasionally form part of the evening light show.

Rocky-Mountain-Sunset

3. Signs of an Early Spring – For the most part, Calgary has experienced a dry, warmer-than-average February. Aside from the slowly-melting snowpiles lining each side of our driveway, the snow in our yard has pretty much disappeared. Our backyard lawn is still somewhat green and buds are forming on many trees. I’ve noticed that some sedums, strawberry plants, Cranesbill geraniums, Johnny Jump Ups and primroses are all showing spring growth. I guess they’ll be starting over if/when we experience the return of winter later this month or in March/April.

Primula

Now it’s your turn. What nature things have you noticed this month?

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