Take heart, the days are getting longer

We have a large old maple tree at our back entrance. When we renovated our home more than 25 years ago, we had to remove a large branch to make room for our garage.
Over time, the remains of the branch rotted out and it has housed several different guests.
During summers in the late 1990s, the hole would be a welcome home for a family of birds. Eventually they abandoned it. This winter, two grey squirrels have claimed ownership of the hole.
I happen to know this because it became warm enough for the two to pop out Sunday afternoon. They have taken up residence where several other grey squirrels have previously wintered.
I suspect that the squirrels were not too impressed with the snow that was gently falling to the ground. Our back yard has three large spruce trees and beneath them this fall, a grey squirrel spent a lot of time burying seeds from cones along with some peanuts.
Today, two feet of snow covers the ground.
It may be nice that we are having an old-fashion winter, with lots of snow on the ground, but I am already growing tired of tossing snow up on to banks that haven’t been this high in years.
And I know things are getting tough for the town street plows. The banks now have extended several feet into the street, and the plows no longer have to move off the centre to push the snow to the curb.
In my younger years, this would be the moment that we would build caves and forts into those snowbanks.
The Fort Frances snow removal crew has been doing a great job of keeping our streets safe for travel. It has not been an easy job. Since the snow began falling, the crews have hardly had a break to begin the removal of the snowbanks along the more travelled roadways.
The discussion around the office today as I finish up this column is the call of the weatherman for another 15 cm of snow before we again drop into the deep freeze of North America.
The good news is that already I can feel the days growing longer, with a hint of daylight still visible at the end of the work day. It is a good sign. Spring will soon be around the corner.
And with the arrival of spring and warmer weather, that squirrel nest probably will have several young in it.

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