February 27, 2015
It was clear this morning, but the snow started just before 9. It’s predicted to warm up enough that the stuff from the skies will be wet, but the ground will be stay frozen. Ice storm.
Businesses and schools shut down about noon.
Two male house finches, probably in their first year, try to eat enough to stay warm on a snowy day in Dallas. Photo by Ed Darrell
Something about snow makes the birds hungry. A tube feeder we filled last night emptied by noon.
At home we refill the feeders as best we can.
Rewards are high. We’ve had six species in the yard at any time, all morning, and at least eight species total.
- Blue jays
A sparrow — a chipping sparrow juvenile? — acting as scout to find food; it was joined by at least two companions after dusting snow off of seeds in the feeder, and finding them suitable.
- Two species of junco
- House finches
- Gold finches
- White-winged doves
- A sparrow (juvenile chipping sparrow?)
- Wrens (probably Carolina, but they won’t come close to the house)
It would be nice if our downy woodpecker friends would visit, but they’ve been scarce most of the fall.
Where are the titmice?
As usual, we have some vireo or other (Bell’s, I think), but it knows us well enough to be able to sing to get us excited, but appear only when humans are not looking.
How are things in your yard?
We get the goldfinches in winter, with their winter colors; some of the males may be anticipating spring a bit.
Female cardinal and male house finch await their turn at the small bird feeder.
January 11, 2014
Here’s why, another video from the good people at Yosemite National Park:
Any of the National Parks is special, in winter. What is your snow and cold experience in them?
Winter photo of the Yosemite Valley, by Q T Luong — a key photo used by the Ken Burns group in their series of films on the National Parks.
January 26, 2011
Walden Pond frozen over, Winter 2005 - Wikimedia image by Bikeable
Every winter the liquid and trembling surface of the pond, which was so sensitive to every breath, and reflected every light and shadow, becomes solid to the depth of a foot or a foot and a half so that it will support the heaviest teams, and perchance the snow covers it to an equal depth, and it is not to be distinguished from any level field. Like the marmots in the surrounding hills, it closes its eyelids and becomes dormant for three months or more. Standing on the snow-covered plain, as if in a pasture amid the hills, I cut my way first through a foot of snow, and then a foot of ice, and open a window under my feet, where, kneeling to drink, I look down into the quiet parlor of the fishes, pervaded by a softened light as through a window of ground glass, with its bright sanded floor the same as in summer; there a perennial waveless serenity reigns as in the amber twilight sky, corresponding to the cool and even temperament of the inhabitants. Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.
Henry David Thoreau, Walden, or Life in the Woods, “The Pond in Winter,” 1899, pp 296-297.
Thanks to Inward/Outward, a project of the Church of the Saviour community.
Special tip of the old scrub brush to Bill Longman, who sent me the e-mail today.