John Harrigan: Of wandering dogs and deer and those rascal red squirrels
There hasn't been enough snow to compel the deer to yard up, meaning to come from miles around to clump up under cover of big softwoods with abundant food to forage for nearby. In the yards they create a network of trails in the snow, giving them a chance to escape predators, which they would not have floundering around in deep snow.
Unlike wild predators, dogs are assured of food and a warm bed at home, and can burn up energy chasing deer with abandon. Wild predators have to calculate when the chase has to be called off, so it can rest for a bit and then seek easier prey. Dogs are not playing by the same rules.
While I was doing dishes and listening to Click and Clack, the Tappit brothers on New Hampshire Public Radio, a woman called in to complain that her Miata (a low-slung sports car convertible) is lousy in snow. They quickly advised her to get the best snow tires she could buy.
They aren't - that's why they make snow tires. My truck wears four deep-treaded snow tires, with studs, and I hardly ever have to give any thought to the weather except to revel in it, whatever comes over the horizon.
Red squirrels are neat little creatures, and I love to encounter them in the woods, even if their scolding alerts other animals that I'm there.
But red squirrels can make a mess of a house, and once in a while I find tracks in the snow into and out from the foundation, and hear squirrels racing around in the attic, emerging outside only to seek food.
And while I hate to do it, every now and then drivers passing by will see a .22 poking out the sink window.
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