We didn't take the camera with us this morning; seeings as it was 28 degrees I doubted we'd go exploring again. But then I come up with the bright idea: with everything getting froze last night, we might be able to make our way over frozen muck to the creek mouth! Cutting through the woods-tongue near the IPFW field (since they were playing soccer at 9am- go figure) we soon found my hypothesis correct and worked our way past the smaller of 2 weed "islands" to the banks of the stream, which was between a yard- yard and a half wide and no deeper than six inches as it crossed the sandy mud. Scrappy had no qualms going right on across, but I hoped to find an easy place to cross. Working west away from the river, along the weed island, it got progressively muddier, forcing me to forego the examination of two marrooned shopping carts that looked to have been swimming for some time. We turned back, with Scrappy vainly trying to get me to go in one or more of the narrow paths into the weed island. I told him I preferred to have just a little bit more warning as to what lie ahead, thank you. We walked down to where the creek turned along the side of the "finger", but there the water widened and deepened. Eventually we picked a spot about midway that I just hauled off and jumped over-almost- and proceeded along the south bank, where the water still in the shadows of the "finger" was frozen. Scrappy doesn't enjoy nearly as much wading through water that breaks. So then we turned back and exited the river where Scrappy usually goes in, at the landing above the IPFW bridge. My feet and his butt and legs were a muddy mess (so much for the shower he took yesterday). So I led us through a bunch of tall, dewy grass- through the old ballfield lot, down the back end of the ravine, back out onto the woods trail, and across the meadow to clean both of us fairly efficiently. Not totally efficiently, as Laurie sent us both to the showers yet again.
Speaking of Laurie, we took her to the Spot Thursday night, and we saw a raccoon ignoring us as he dug an old log for bugs (I presume). I add this to several more deer sightings (including the one about 1:30 Friday am in the back yard) and update our animal count. 52 deer, 19 rabbit, 7 bat, 4 skunk, 6 raccoon, 5 groundhog, 2 opossum, 7 fox, 4 black squirrel (which never made it down here; Msnkrey, you're south of us, do you come across any black ones in your area?) and that pheasant I'd almost forgot.