Blankets usually cover things, conceal them, hide them away. But our unusual, thick blanket of snow uncovered some amazing insights to our local critters. The crisscross of tracks around the marina in all shapes and sizes have been such fun to decipher. It's like a secret decoder ring, revealing what's been wandering around at night. Secrets told in soft, white crystals.
And of course it takes the heart of a child to think what these tracks are looking for. "They're hungry," he worried. "It's so cold and dark and all of the plants are dead. We need to feed them." We started with the classic, cranberry and popcorn strings.
Then a friend offered a recipe for "bird seed glue" - a way of binding the seed together in a safe, edible way.
3/4 C flour
1/2 C water
1 pkg knox gelatin
3 T corn syrup
mix in 4 C of bird seed
We smooshed the mixture into everything from silicon molds to plastic cookie cutters. Pack it in hard, layer some twine in the middle, and then set them out to air dry for a day.
Trudging out in the thigh deep snow (on me!) and following the tracks, we picked a tree that seemed to be in the heart of the animal highway. We left our offerings...
... hoping the shadowy friends who tread so lightly through our whitened world will stop and take their fill.