While back up in the home country of northern Missouri between Christmas and New Year's, I saw two things I never imagined.

First, the local paper carried a picture of a mountain lion taken in Livingston County, not too far from home. The cat had activated a camera left along a deer trail to count deer. The big cats are starting to move back into Missouri, preying on the deer. Wow. Mountain lions back in Missouri after all these years. Resulting from a tremendous increase in the number of deer compared to 50 years ago, protected status, and also (I assume) from the depopulation of rural Missouri. Like much of the Midwest, most rural north Missouri counties peaked in population between 1900 and 1920.

Second, I saw fresh sign of moles at work in late December on the family farm. Never before have I seen that. Even the warmer winters I remember left the ground too cool. Those who try to deny climate change are whistling in the dark. See this earlier post.