After a Storm
Nature Bulletin No. 47 January 5, 1946
Forest Preserve District of Cook County
Clayton F. Smith, President
Roberts Mann, Superintendent of Conservation
AFTER A STORM
At daybreak on Monday, December 24, a blinding blizzard raged.
About eight o'clock the snow ceased. Immediately the woods and
meadows became alive with hungry animals and birds.
The rabbits came out of their snug hiding places to cruise the thickets,
gnawing the bark of young trees and shrubs, or racing about for
exercise and play. The squirrels came down from their den trees and
zigzagged here and there, digging out acorns from beneath the snow.
The killers of the foxes, mink and weasel -- came out hunting for mice
and any luckless bird or animal they could surprise.
Everywhere in the tall grass and weeds of the meadows, the field mice
had made telltale holes from their runways up to the surface, for air.
Flocks of song sparrows hopped about, jumping up to seize the choice
weed seeds. Pheasants stalked along, eating seeds and hunting patches
of burdock or nubbins left in cornfields, where they could get a real
meal. The juncoes cleaned up what the pheasants wasted.
The hairy woodpeckers tap-tap-tapped on dead branches. The red
cardinals traveled along the hedgerows. The crows searched for dead
rabbits and other animals killed along the highways.
and small animals get along better in winter than most folks
realize. It is a sleet and ice storm, such as we had Christmas eve, that
makes their existence precarious. Then food is a problem. Then there
are innumerable tragedies.
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Update: June 2012