• One morning, when the temperature was above freezing, a squirrel was spotted clinging to the underside of a slim branch on a sugar maple tree. To the puzzlement of the observers, it was nibbling at the bark on the lower surface of the branch. Perhaps it was drinking sap, but not enough evidence to be conclusive. The next morning after another frosty night, the squirrel was back nibbling and slurping on the tiny icicles that had formed as the sap dripped out of the branch. Remarkably, it would appear that squirrels are going into the maple syrup business and presumably without having acquired quotas from the Maple Producer’s Marketing Board.

• A couple was quietly eating breakfast when they heard a strange splashing sound and were immediately concerned that something was leaking in their old house. Much to their relief, but surprise, they found a mouse had fallen into their dog’s water bowl. We might be anxious for warmer weather and to be able to do laps in a pool, but I don’t think this is what this mouse had in mind.

• A woman, visiting with some relatives at Sally’s Pond, decided to take her dog for a walk in the vicinity. The dog relieved itself and the owner dutifully collected its contribution in a poo bag and left it beside the road to pick up on her way back to the house. As she climbed into her car to drive back to Knowlton, she remembered that the bag was still awaiting pick-up and she stopped the car and retrieved it. However, the road was icy and windswept, and the car couldn’t get enough traction to climb the small hill. It started slipping sideways and the driver realized it was in danger of sliding into the pond. A phone call was made to the towing company and, on arrival on the scene, it was evident that the truck should not back down to the stricken car as he was also in danger of getting stuck. He was eventually able to winch the Honda up the slope and to safety. Being a diligent dog owner comes with its own set of hazards.