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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Positively Winter - Birds and Sun dogs

by Mauverneen

I’m a little late with my post this morning – I had to feed the birds and then I got distracted by a coyote. Yesterday morning it was a ‘sun dog’.
Glorious Sun Dog

Mr. Blue Jay on my deck rail
The birds were waiting.  The temperature was still minus zero, but the sun is out and they are hungry.  Of course birds are hungry no matter what the weather.  I slip on my boots and put my coat on over my pj’s, grab the bird seed and  -  brace myself.
Mr and Mrs

Back inside my warm house I watch the birds as they swarm the feeders. Most of the time they are sociable, but once in a while they chase each other away, hoarding the crumbs.  It’s hard to imagine how they survive this cold.  But thank goodness they do.  
Taking shelter

My neighbors on either side feed the birds too, but the ones to the east are gone for a couple of weeks, so whatever they’ve put out is long gone which probably explains why I suddenly have so many at my own feeders.  
Little Junco

I’ve seen what I think is a coyote several times this week but hardly any deer. In fact, the coyote was out this morning, on the trail of something as he passed through. It’s so rare to catch a good view AND have my camera ready at the same time that I could not pass up the photo op. It seems he’s come a bit more often since the neighbors up the row got their chickens. I don’t know if the coyote is able to get at them, or if coyotes even like chickens (hmmm, not bad… tastes like rodent) but I’d guess he’s been eyeing them up, trying to figure out a way.
Coyote on the trail

My neighbor to the west has apple trees that the deer come for in the summertime. The top of it is still filled with apples that have not fallen, even at this late date. The other day I wanted to go over and ask him if I could get a long pole and knock them down for the deer but before I could do it I saw him out there in his parka and gloves with one of those extra long handled branch cutters.  He was cutting down some of the apples that were too high for the deer to reach.  He does this every couple of days, rationing what’s left. It did my heart good.  I can see the reddish brown fruit in the snow and usually in the morning when I look out again the apples are gone, the area trampled with hoof prints.

Good Morning
Funny that the squirrels don’t bother the feeders in winter but I’ve only seen one even trying to get close. Maybe they are busy cracking those nuts they were burying all summer long.
Got anything for me?

Yep, we had another sun dog yesterday. Made it worth getting out of bed!

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