Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Same Song, Second Verse

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The photo above was taken in my back yard one year ago yesterday. That bush looks much the same this afternoon, only more so. It has snowed steadily since early morning, and we have about 7"-8" on the ground. A light snow is still falling and the temperature is in the low 20 degree range (F). It will be even colder tonight. Fortunately, there has been no rain, therefore no ice on power lines, etc.

The grackles came in droves this morning, completely cleaning out my bird feeders. It made me sad to see my 'sweet birds' (cardinals, gold finches, house finches, juncos, nut hatches, and a variety of sparrows)  trying to find something to eat, so I donned my Nanook of the North outfit, put on my gloves and leopard-print wellies and made a supply run.

The minute I filled the feeders and turned back to the house, the grackles, and a host of starlings, which had been lurking in the trees, made a mad dash for them, flocking to them so heavily that the sweet birds, which are much smaller than the grackles and starlings, could not even approach the feeders, much less get a bill in edgewise.

I finally just stood outside under the porch overhang, like a fat scarecrow. The grackles and starlings would not come down from the trees when they saw me, but the sweet birds seemed not to fear me at all, and came quickly to the feeders, even to the one that was less than four feet from where I was standing. They must have been hungry. I stayed out there for about 15 - 20 minutes, just watching them eat.

The sweet birds were twittering (even without Internet access) and giving thanks for their seeds. I love to hear them 'talk' to each other.  There are a great many juncos that visit my feeders, or the ground beneath them -- little 'snowbirds.' I don't think I've ever before noticed the sound they make. It's really pretty.

When my toes froze, I came back inside. In the hour or so following, I made several trips to the back door to scare away the hordes of black birds, but they came back as soon as I closed the door. Oh, well. Everything has to eat.

Besides feeding and watching birds, I've done little else today, just a bit of laundry and basic housekeeping stuff. I did manage to make a batch of cheese dip, the kind with Velveeta® and Ro-tel ® tomatoes and green chiles. That was a mighty good snack for a cold, snowy afternoon.

That's about it.  Tomorrow is also a day.


Hilary said...

It's true, they all do need to eat and many of them, like the juncos don't mind getting what spills over once the big birds are done. So very sweet of you to stand there and make sure the smaller species got their share.

George said...

It was good of you to try to give the cardinals, finches and others a chance to eat. Starlings can really take over feeders in a heart beat.
I hope you stay safe and warm during this storm.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Wow--you all really got the snow.. That's two in a row for you, isn't it? We haven't had much since the first of January... AND--we missed again this time.. It fizzles when it gets to the Cumberland Plateau for some reason. We may end up with 1/2 an inch at most. Bah!!!!! Wish we had more! Oh Well--hubby is happy.


Arkansas Patti said...

Isn't it just beautiful out Pat? We got about 9 inches here.
I had a starling invasion too. I did the scarecrow routine also and eventually scared them off. I must be much scarier than you. Hope I didn't send them your way.
Four degrees this AM and I have some shoveling to do today to make a decent path to the feeders.
Enjoy the pretty.

Marvin said...

Around 13" of snow to your north. I'm ready for warmer temps and melting over the weekend.

We are so lucky that more urban birds like grackles and starlings seldom visit our rural location.

rhymeswithplague said...

By the time your 10" storm arrived in these parts, all that was left was a meager 1/2" that greeted us this morning.

One of these days we will all thaw out and get on with our lives.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast.