More Snow Days

 

2015-02-16 Flurries 01

It’s truly uncanny how wildlife reacts to big weather about to happen. Yesterday, our backyard turned into an all-you-can-eat buffet for what seemed like every feathered creature for miles just hours before the big snow hit Virginia. I didn’t get any good pictures then, but we were covered with them.

2015-02-17 Snow 01

 

Here in central Virginia we got a healthy 6 inches in most places. It was really odd though as that snow came from mostly the finest, shimmering snow dust rather than fluffy flakes. We watched it fall for hours yesterday thinking no way would we get more than maybe 2 inches tops.

2015-02-17 Snow 02

 

And Mother Nature said, oh ye of little faith 🙂

 

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Flurries and Such

2015-01-27 Snow Woodpecker No real accumulations this morning, just ongoing flurries here in our little town in central Virginia. Some areas have more or less. Snow is beautiful in any form and it’s always exciting to see as it’s been several years since we’ve had more than a few inches (annually). That said, I’ve never lived in a very high elevation or further north than Virginia (I’m thinking of folks who regularly shovel have to deal with feet of snow annually rather than inches). I’m sure there are plenty of places I could be living and desperately wishing for the snow to be over rather than to see more. 2015-01-27 Snow Junco The grass is always greener, depending on your situation. But I like the flurries. You can still go about your daily day, but it’s a nice serendipity to glance out the windows to see the slow waltz of the flakes as they tumble down.

Something’s Better than Nothing

2015-01-14 Junco Snow

It was just a dusting, but something’s better than nothing!

 

2015-01-14 Carmen SnowCarmen the cat is ever-present for window watch duty when snowy weather brings the birds out to feed on the ground below. She treats this job very seriously, of course,

When the weather is bad, it’s tempting to stay inside rather than head out to fill up your feeders. But a friendly reminder, that if you do feed birds (or any other wildlife) throughout the year, they will come to depend on you as a food source, so be sure they always have enough when the temperature drops.

 

 

Snowy Song Sparrow – Or Maybe Not?

2014-03-03 Sparrow 1

So this guy has me puzzled a bit. It looks like a song sparrow, but I’ve never seen one with the reddish-brown markings on the face before.

2014-03-03 Sparrow 2

Then I was really confused to see it had the same rusty color on the wings a bit too. It’s entirely possible it’s a song sparrow with some variation, but after a quick look through my go-to online source (www.allaboutbirds.org), I didn’t find a perfect match so far. If I’m wrong and you have a thought as to what it is instead, let me know.

2014-03-03 Sparrow 3

It’s injured its leg somehow and had quite a time hopping around and resting on its belly in the snow while gobbling up seed. He or she will be OK I think as it seemed pretty adept at flying and managing on the ground. This morning I found it huddled under our porch where it’s dry, all fluffed into a ball and moving so that’s a good sign in the bitter cold.

Cue the Snow…Again

2014-03-03 Snow

One more round of the white stuff today. We’re expecting 4-8″ so we’ll be indoors again for a bit. I had settled in last night watching the Oscars and just before I drifted off completely on the sofa, woke up with a start. Knowing the weather was coming and temperatures would be dropping, I realized we hadn’t topped off the bird feeders and they were quite low on seed.

So the husband being the good man he is, threw on a coat with me and we trudged out back to fill up all the feeders and make sure the squirrels and the rest of the wild kingdom would have food today.

2014-03-03 Bath

You might not think of ensuring birds have water in snow, but they still need this. We keep a water warmer in the bird bath and this helps in the winter quite a bit. It kicks on when the temperature goes below freezing and keeps the water just warm enough that it doesn’t freeze over. It has lasted for 4 years now and is still going strong through all types of weather conditions. We bring it in once the possibility of freezing temperatures is gone for the season.

2014-03-03 Junco

This little junco was balancing  on one foot this morning while keeping the other foot warm tucked in its downy feathers.

While it’s a little bit of a bummer to have gone from the balmy sunshine of yesterday to the frigid snow of today, this should be the last one. And truthfully, I’ll be wishing for the snow once we’re in the throes of August most likely so I’ll still enjoy today.

Hope you can find something to enjoy about today too wherever you are!

Little Bird, Big Lens

2014-02-13 Black Capped Chickadee

I’ve had some fun in our most recent snowfall with photos of birds in branches. The black-capped chickadee is a bird that doesn’t sit still for very long so I don’t tend to have many pictures of them from our back woods. However I had a big lens on my camera this day and I decided to try to grab a good picture or two for the heck of it.

My husband lets me play with his Canon lenses that he’s accumulated over the years and I particularly have fun with the 100-400mm f4.5-5.6.  My day-to-day pictures are typically snagged with a 200mm f2.8 (also his) which is much easier for me to manage without the tripod. I can snap virtually anything with wings from our family room windows with the big lens mounted on my SLR. However, I’ll be the first to admit, it’s heavy and I generally don’t use it unless it’s mounted on a tripod or resting on some other supportive surface. Sure is fun though!