Thom Smith: 'Altresco' deer herd: captive or not?Q: Will you please settle a disagreement we are having at work about the infamous Altresco deer herd. One camp maintains the deer are captives, and would need the gate open to come and go. The other camp says the chain link fence is no barrier for the deer at all, and they can come and go at will. Any thoughts? Full Story Nature Watch: Mineral discovery raises questionsQ: We have two questions: Donald found a rock in the driveway that looks to his father (Mark) to be a common one. Inside, after we cracked it open with a hammer, we found it to be mostly light gray in color with sparkly bits of glitter (schist?). Some of it is pure white. Full Story Nature Watch: Birds soon begin spring season arrivalsQ: With the changing seasons I bet you get many bird questions. We are new at bird feeding and watching and thrill at each new bird. Last week there were redwings at our feeder and now there is a sparrow that has streaks on breast with a jumble like spot in the middle. Can it be a song sparrow? It isn't singing. Full Story Thom Smith: Native versus alien Berkshire cottontailsQ: This morning when going out for my morning paper, a rabbit scampered past me. The entire area is still packed with at least 2 feet of snow without a blade of grass in sight. I know that rabbits eat grass, so my question is what is this rabbit eating to survive? Full Story Thom Smith: Chickadees will hoard and hide foodQ: I always thought chickadees landed on the feeder, grabbed one seed and took off. Then I read somewhere that they will actually hoard food, so I started watching them more closely and sure enough the little buggers will stuff four or five sunflower hearts into their beaks and fly off. My query: Where do they store the seeds? In their nests or do they hide it all over the place like squirrels?