Dec 15, 2006

Weather and Dead Armadillos

If winter is like it was last year, it will be almost 10 degrees above normal. So far, our temperatures have been warmer than usual (50's and 60's for abnormal highs this week) and no really cold spells are anticipated in the near future. We really like to have it very cold in the winter for at least four or five days to kill pests, and that usually does happen.

I keep track of dead armadillos on the highway between Kansas City and Oklahoma. Dead armadillos keep appearing further north and now they seem to have made it north of Lamar, MO. These Central American critters love to travel!

I'm very fortunate to look out our rear window and see deer, squirrels, and many birds. At times, I've even seen a badger on the rocky hill. Usually we see does and fawns, but the apple tree attracted a 10-point buck a few weeks ago. He was definitely larger than the normal deer we see. My husband alternates between enjoying seeing beautiful deer and bemoaning the tiny deer ticks (and potential Lyme disease) that come with a deer population.

It's hard to believe that 30+ years ago there were no deer in our area and now there are so many. In Kansas and Missouri there are 20,000 vehicles accidents involving deer, many that injure and kill people. Deer accidents have happened twice to one of our children, with the second accident following the other within a few months. Major damage to the car on two occasions! The spouse of another child also has hit a deer and totaled the car. God continues to take good care of us, and in all three cases there were no serious injuries.

Our backyard trees and yard host a large number of birds, especially cardinals, bluejays, several different types of woodpeckers, and black and brown birds of various kinds. Even though it is mid-December, a robin was perched high in the tree outside our rear window this morning. Is this another sign of a mild winter?

Snakes have disappeared from our property and I haven't seen one in over 25 years--too many people, I guess. The ones I used to see lived in the strawberries (e.g., garter snakes, blue racers) and once we saw one in a tree (black snake). No poisonous copperheads or rattlesnakes were ever seen, and dangerous water moccasins are not supposed to live this far north--yet!


paramedicgirl said...

Well, you must be having our share of the good weather! We have had so much snow and cold weather, very unusual this early in the season. Last night it snowed 8 more inches, and it's not going away.
I'm glad your family survived their deer crashes. Those can get pretty serious, in my experience. Someone must be looking out for them, and for that, they are blessed.

Therese_Rose_Morning said...

I did NOT know that Armadillos were an American animal . . . you learn something new every day! Ever since I was a child I thought Armadillos were Australian, like all the weird (er, interesting) animals they have down there.

How very interesting! I'd love to see one someday (ahem, alive;) )