The temperatures dropped below freezing and the wind speeds increased overnight.
I dressed in layers for my morning walk around the crusty fields. My thoughts were of finishing chores and returning to the warmth of the wood-burning stove.
Tag's barks interrupted those thoughts.
I looked up to see the Border collie dashing through the soybean stubble and toward the woods.
A raccoon had emerged from the woods and was running across the field.
"That'll do," I called to Tag. I don't encourage dog-raccoon encounters.
Tag returned to me, and I expected the raccoon to return to the woods. It didn't. Instead, another raccoon came ambling into the field.
I mentally calculated dates and gestation periods and birthing seasons, and realized that while we humans are thinking of hibernating, the raccoons are thinking of mating.