One cruel winter too far.... / by Jonathan Thomson

My days at UWNR are typically filled with joy & wonder....yesterday at lunch I watched the resident fox stalking through the rough grassland to the north of the barn, and early this morning, with mist streaming skyward from the lake, a female mallard duck busily constructing her nest for her seasonal brood. That sensibility was blasted sideways, when this mid-morning, I found one of the beautiful, ghostly, mesmerizing Barn Owls dead.   It almost certainly died of starvation - this hard winter depressing the field vole population and successive snow storms making hunting impossible.

Of all the fauna at UWNR it was this creature that properly took my breath away each time I observed it qaurtering its field. It is gone, along with too many others, in this harsh cruel winter of 2018. I wonder how many years UWNR will have to wait before it is graced by another white Owl. What sadness. What loss. What empty-ness.