By David Horst firstname.lastname@example.org
There’s something magical about a snow day even when you haven’t had to go to school for more than 30 years.
It’s like bonus time — unplanned hours. Time to decorate the tree and order those last-minute gifts. It also gives us the outdoors reborn with a fresh coat of beauty.
The office for my day job shut down because of Thursday’s snow. I would have made it in OK, but eight hours of heavy snowfall and gusty winds would have kept me from getting back up the steep driveway that takes us up on the sandhill we call home.
I’ll take some of the bonus time to look back on random events from the year in nature.
• Wisconsin has 110 fewer wolves after the first hunt since reintroduction. Hunting wolves was always going to be a reality to stay within the goals set by some real smart guys at the DNR. My objection is that more than half of the “harvested” wolves had to endure leg-hold traps before being dispatched.
• We have one more eagle than we might have. When an adult bald eagle flew into the grille of Brian Baker’s pickup truck as he traveled down State 10 in Weyauwega last June, it seemed the bird had no chance. Baker called the sheriff’s department, which called DNR warden Ted Dremel, who gingerly pulled the eagle’s head from the plastic shards of the grille. New London bird rehabber Pat Fisher and vet Jim Ziegler nursed the eagle back to health and, a month later, I was able to watch it leave Ziegler’s gloved hands and fly back into nature. The story was picked up by CNN and a picture Baker snapped with his phone made the DNR’s top 10 list of wildlife photos for the year.