Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Birds

The snow we were told about on the news last night arrived, starting last night and snowing on and off into the wee hours, stopping this morning. Now I look outside and I can't make out whether it is snowing again or if the wind is blowing it around. It was enough when Gregg got up for him to decide to work out of the house today. When he saw multi-flakes blowing sideways and that the roads were covered I think that's when he made his decision. He has spent most of his time at the kitchen table with his laptop and making necessary calls when needed. I am trying not to bother him, not that he minds as he says he enjoys the occasional break. He is in the middle of a break right now, shoveling the driveway! I am in the middle of making grilled cheese sandwiches and am going to heat up some tomato soup. It seems like a real comfort food on a day like this and I am sure he will be ready for it by the time he gets back inside the house.

I am trying to keep mouth quiet as I look at our mailbox. It is looking a bit wonky. He often tells me that I have a habit of pointing him in the direction of another task that we need to get done, right after he has finished one task (clearing the driveway) and of course I wouldn't dream of saying anything when he is working like a beaver shoveling snow, but as he's in the vicinity..... no, thought better of it. The mailbox has been wobbling for a while now. Of course, I could just as easily put a screwdriver in my hand. What a concept!

It will get done one of these days, maybe when the mail carrier swerves into our mailbox and knocks it flying like last winter. That's how I got this brand-spanking new one the last time. The poor man was very apologetic but I point no fingers. At the end of the road is Denise's stop sign, the one she hit when she looked left when she should have been looking right, veered six inches in the wrong direction and snapped that thing in two. I dutifully but rather embarrasingly confessed to the people at the HOA office on my way out of the neighborhood, even tried to give them my name and number but they told me it wasn't necessary. I was mortified but when I came back from shopping it had already been replaced. I am still amazed at the speed of it all. Forever more it has been known as "Denise's Stop Sign" - in our family at least. It was a very quiet day and no neighbors were in the vicinity or peaking out their windows - I hope. One of the boys, either hubs or son, will often say as we drive by, "Hello Denise's stop sign" just to tease me. So no, I didn't point any fingers at the poor mailman for I know how he felt.
I practised with a few macro shots out of the window. There are new buds showing up on the bush by the door, now covered in snow. Here they were, thinking it was spring and now this.

Below if you can enlarge the photo you will see a little bird left of center on the deck.
Right now the feeder is empty, though ready and waiting.....

....for this little chap, a Black-Capped Chickadee.

This one is looking for the seeds below the snow. He was very entertaining as I watched him scratch away with his feet until he found them. His antics reminded me of a chicken.
The Blue Jay turned up next.

There were several Dark-Eyed Junco's around. The sun came out for a while and this little chap cast a nice shadow across the snow.

A female Cardinal replaced the Blue Jay in the tree.....

.....and her mate was nearby. After yesterday's non-show I was happy to see him.

I see a Goldfinch, Dark-Eyed Junco, Housefinch and what looks like a female Housefinch.
We had a visit from a Mourning Dove. I love to wake up in the morning with the sound of them cooing outside our bedroom window.
This little fellow decided to get a better birds-eye view.
The Tufted Titmouse didn't seem to mind.
I was very, very happy to see the North Carolina Wren pop in for a visit. This is the first time I have ever had the chance to take a picture of one. I could barely contain my excitement but I had to as only a few feet away Gregg was on a conference call. He had to make do with excited hand motions of me pointing outside with an expression on my face that equated to striking oil. Well, that's what you have to deal with around here!
The poor thing looked a little confused. No, not Gregg, the Wren. He obviously wanted those seeds and I tried to explain to him that the particular feeder he was on was actually for the squirrels.
He hopped down and tried a different approach but no joy was to be found, nuts or seeds to be eaten. So near yet so far away. He could not lift the top which the squirrels have easy access to.
He tried, he really did. I gave him an A+ for effort.
The poor little guy gave up and when he flew off I flew out and sprinkled as much of that tasty mixture as I could - on the ledge, on the rail, in the flower box, on the deck. He hasn't been back yet but maybe like the male Cardinal the day before, he will return tomorrow.
Across the road there were more snow shovellers and the snow shovellers' furry friend was overseeing everything.

At this point in time it is not snowing and the sun is out.


  1. I still can not figure out what keeps a little birds feet from freezing. And that dog is brave laying in the snow. Sun is out, but it's COLD here. I hope we don't get any of that snow, they claim is heading north. We're to have a birthday party on Sunday for our Granddaughter, turning 9 and our one daughter turning 47. On Sat, they're suppose to have a birthday party for the Granddaughter at her other Grandmother's along with one cousin who has a birthday this month. We also have two other Grandchildren having birthdays this month, Grandson will be 26 on the 8th and Granddaughter will be 27 on the 17th. They live in Fl. I guess we know what all of us most of been doing in the month of Dec. LOL

    Tell hubby to be careful shoveling. Can bring on a heart attack.

  2. You're so good--I've been watching our empty bird feeder out in the snow but, must admit, have as yet made no move to go out in the cold and fill it! (Your dog is bold--our cat wouldn't even step on the threshold this morning!)

  3. Wow, your yard has been busy! The snow always brings the birds out. As for the birds, I think you were right. That "siskin" looks like a female house finch to me. Look at the beak. A siskin would be much smaller and slimmer than the housefinch and it would have a thin, pointed beak. Often you can see the yellow edges in its wings and tail. However, the angle of the bird's head does make it a bit hard to see the beak for sure. I hope you stay warm and dry. Enjoy your soup and sandwich! Thanks for your visit to my blog!

  4. wow Denise! Lovely pictures and I would like to say that I shall not point my finger too.Just I remind myself when I took away the doors of the garage in the building that I lived several years ago.By the way, I hit for 3 times garage`s doors (different locations). I think I`m not good with doors! LoL hey, shhhhhh okay because Cezar doesn`t know this obscure past about doors in my life ! ;-)Léia

  5. I'm new to your blog but I had to stay a bit and see your beautiful pictures. Really are a very good photographer.

  6. Funny story about the Denise stop sign! Of course, we all have our embarrassing little secrets...
    Love your bird photos. You take great ones.

  7. Birds almost always seem to be looking straight at the camera don't they? I agree that you do take great photos and would like to thank you again for being so generous in sharing. I'm happy that I no longer live where there is much chance I have to drive in snow or ice. I happily leave that to you kids. ;)

  8. You got much more snow than we did -- at least I didn't have to go out and shovel snow. I enjoyed the story of Denise's Stop Sign.

  9. Beautiful.. my, you've captured a variety of birds! These snowy pictures are so lovely! The soup and sandwiches sound cozy. I know what you mean about tasks! If I could remember to bite my lips! Ha-

  10. Wow, those are such gorgeous shots!
    Cheers and best wishes.

  11. So many beautiful little birds! And I love your dog friend! I wonder if he's expecting some liver biscotti in the mail?

  12. It was such a delight to read your blog and I enjoyed the pictures sooo much.

  13. such a wonderful post with excellent bird pics!

  14. Wonderful pictures of the birds, you can almost touch their feathers....
    Snow flurried right by us, but dropped eight inches on the town 20 miles South of us.
    I had a little Carolina Wren in the garage today, for some reason, they always end up in there. I think it may well be because they are little busy bodies !

  15. Wow, Denise! You've really got some great shots! I particularly love that shot of the junco sitting proudly in the snow. You make winter look beautiful

  16. I really enjoyed this post Denise - first your funny story then the lovely birds. I particularly like the blue jay and the cardinal. I love them all really.

    A x

  17. luvly shots. I used to have to get bundled up and get out with hubby to shovel! whats up here? teehee
    I prob would have knocked the mailbox down before it would ahve gotten fixed or at least started fixing it before hubby would have been coaxed into it. He did things in his time! not my timing

  18. Lovely lot of bird shots Denise, obviously taken before the Sherry.!

  19. Are you sure about that Siskin?
    Female house finches are heavily streaked like that and close in size to their male counterparts.
    I think a siskin would look smaller.

    Ours have slight color differences, too. The house finches more dusty brown, siskins a cleaner, darker striping.

  20. Hi Everyone, thank you all for leaving all these great comments. I have learned a lot and some of you have really made me think. I am still learning about these birds and the help I have been getting is tremendous. I need to get a good book on identifying them. I know I have one around here somewhere.

  21. Well, Denise I was going to say that one looks like a female House Finch! hahahaha! I see Kathiebirds beat me too it. Do you know if it was the same bird or did they play a switch-a-roo trick on you!! hahahaha! Maybe Kathie could look back and see if she thinks that was a Siskin!! I love these "make you work" kind of posts!

  22. Ok know I love you...but do you remember the whole Cleome episode??....
    Well, now I think we're going to have to play the house finch...pine siskin game!!! Ha Ha!!
    Listen there is no shame in mixing these guys up as a matter of fact it's how we learn our birds, without finding a mistake we will never learn whether we are truly correct! So you are now officially on your way to being a better birder!!! Congrats!!

  23. OH Hope that snow melts soon!! And I love the pup by the box photo!!

  24. Eve, you do make me smile and thanks for the encouragement. Cleome, Cleome, Cleome!!! :))))

  25. We are very cold here, the weather man said the temps are to rise to 47 degrees, are snow is almost gone, but this is no for sure in March. March is noted for rain and ice. I sure liked your photos, they are very nice, thank you for stopping by.

  26. Love your photos - they are all great, and I was loving the birds and then I arrived at the last one. That one with dog by the mailbox is great! So fun!

  27. What a lovely blog! I took a break to eat brunch, and I'm so glad I stopped in here. Love your snow shots, shots of the birds, and that one of the precious dog! It's hard to believe it's the first of March and so cold!

    Your grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup sound good to me! I might have to do that for supper...


    Sheila :-)

  28. I so appreciate your pictures. Winter has broken me this year but your photos are reminding me to find the beauty in it all. I love the little birds. Our feeder broke in a terrible wind storm last fall..I must get a new one, I have a big bag of seed in the garage that could be out there doing its magic!

  29. Wonderful array of birds! And that dog seems to be thinking, Snow, what about it? Enjoyed your musings as well - there's great comfort in grilled cheese!

  30. Very nice photos indeed,exotic birds for us in Sweden,nicely colourful.

  31. Fabulous post, excellent pix ... its nice to meet you. Thanks for your visit and the kind comment!

    My husband was out shoveling yesterday and last nite was aching...

  32. Poor lonely mailbox has to be in the snow - wobbly and all! :)
    Look at all those little birdies - I don't have as much of a variety as you. My blue jays are so skiddish I haven't yet got a good photo of one.
    The macro of the bud and ice is super. Hopefully it will be ok.
    Stay warm.

    Thanks so much for your wonderful comments on my new photoblog - I do appreciate you.

  33. Wonderful post. Loved all of the photos and the story about the stop sign. It never ceases to amaze me that little birds and animals with fur don't seem to mind that snow. I don't care if I was in a fur coat, I'm not laying in the snow. :-)

  34. What beautiful photo's! If you happen to visit my blog and read the 'Robin Story' - I hope you don't think less of me. I really do love birds. ;)

  35. I love that Rhododendron bud amongst all the snow and the birds are lovely too.

    May spring come soon! :-)

    Congratulations on David's POD award.

  36. You have some amazing birds in your garden and you take beautiful photographs of them.

    Thick snow, looks very picturesque doesn't it, but much too cold!

    Lovely post.

    CJ xx

  37. THis is exactly why I spend so much money of feeders and seed and make more cornbread than we can eat...for the birds! Lovely

  38. I think your photos are just super; birdfeeders are a preoccupation of mine as well. Which reminds me, must go fill them! We have redpolls and some american goldfinches who stip them bare in no time at all.

  39. I love that mail box shot... the isolation in the snow is very evocative...