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the egret
The past two days my father and I have noticed a white egret (not sure of the specific type - it's not a large variety, with a smaller beak that has no black tip, and dark legs) hanging around the house - which is fairly odd, given the time of year. I've been doing some reading, and as it turns out, they *will* rarely weather winters in Pennsylvania - but I'm not sure why it would've chosen our house (besides the fact we provide ample seed on a daily basis in a large feeder.) We're nowhere near a lake here, though the river is about a half mile as the crow flies down the hill.

Tonight I stepped out on the porch for some fresh air in the brisk 28 degree weather, and as I was standing on the edge looking around, I noticed in the darkness a white, ball shaped thing next to the edge of the porch. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out what it was - I spent a good 30 seconds considering the possibilities when it dawned on me - could it be the egret? And I swear the moment that thought crossed my mind the thing sprang up and made me jump about foot backwards. I startled it, too, because it turned around and ran out a good 20 feet out before spreading its huge wings wide.

I am a bit concerned about its ability to survive if it sticks around here long. We've some warmer temperatures coming next week but I doubt they will last.