By Boak Wiesner
A pretty orange and magenta sunrise gives way to a pearly stratus-filled sky over the meadow on the east side. Big Bluestem still provides some much needed color to the otherwise drab landscape. Such a quiet morning still me so I let my eyes do the work. I wonder what’s afoot this morning?
Some Oak Apple Galls are strikingly apparent. The wasp larvae that were once snug inside became the meat course for some Downy Woodpeckers probably.
It looks like some Chickadees chowed down on the Gall Fly larvae that were inside these galls on some goldenrod. See the cone-shaped holes?
Some Goldenrod seeds have yet to be dispersed by the wind. Their fuzzy appearance helps soften the cold grasp of winter.
A Red-tailed Hawk flew over and landed in a tree but a murder of crows mobbed it and away it flew. It could be hunting the voles in the meadow the tracks of many I came across.
Along with the hawk, an ermine has also been out hunting. It keeps its feet together when it bounds in a long-short-long-short pattern.
No wonder voles make tunnels under the snow to avoid hungry predators like these.
Boak Wiesner is a Minnesota Naturalist Volunteer.
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