A Meadow in the Winter

The following was sent to The Block Island Times from the Block Island Conservancy:
January 7, 2021 – A Meadow in the Winter
A dusting of snow fell on Block Island one evening this week and because it was so still there were still little heaps of snow the following morning between the stems of switchgrass and little bluestem and on the branches of winterberry and arrowwood shrubs in an open meadow off Payne Road. Meadows in the wintertime are excellent habitat for a variety of Block Island mammals and birds, particularly when they are left unmown until the early spring. The tall clumps of grasses and the shrubbed-edges provide food and shelter from cold windy storms for rodents and resident songbirds, while also making for excellent hunting grounds for raptors soaring overhead.
One animal that’s particularly common in meadow habitats is the endemic Block Island meadow vole. Meadow voles burrow though and under mats of grasses and hide out in the crevices of stonewalls, eating seeds, fruits, and plant stalks. You can read more about this animal by clicking here.
Meadow voles in turn are

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