Greetings everyone as the light fades in the western sky. The bare branches of the black ash trees next door look fabulous against the darkening sky. The days are definitely getting longer now. Not by much, but it is noticeable at least. But this is when the cold comes. And it’s coming this week. Sigh. I just don’t do well in cold weather anymore. Warm days in the tropics. That’s what I like to think about. Ahh, to be alone on a nice little tropical isle. Muffin would like that too I’m sure. But here I sit, drinking a cup of hot chocolate and trying to stay warm.
Birds and feeders
I bought a new suet feeder since there are so many birds that like suet and there is always a line-up at the 2 I had. Today I put it up. When I went to the window to check if the birds were going to use the new feeder sure enough, a nuthatch was on it already. But something was wrong. He was fluttering around like he was trapped. Out I went again. Yep, his little foot had slipped between two of the wires in a corner that were just apart enough for his foot but once through and he turned his foot he was unable to pull it out again. Poor little critter. So I calmed him down and slipped his foot back out and he flew to the apple tree. And I fixed the feeder so it can’t happen again. Bad design. Sigh. But he was back later, no harm done.
There was a lot of those pine siskins around today, I figured around 80 of them. So I decided to try getting them to come onto my hand. Took less than a minute for the first one to land. Then another. And several more. Had 4 at a time on my hand. There was 10 at one time on me, on my arms, my shoulders, my head. Didn’t think it would be quite that easy. And no camera. But as usual with these little birds, they flew up into the trees suddenly. Good. I went inside and got my camera and back out with more sunflower seeds on my hand, which was already cold from the first time. The siskins came back right away and I was clicking as fast as I could. They didn’t mind at all. Once again I was covered with siskins, I think about 15 this time, it was a little hard to tell. But only one at a time on my hand. Sigh. One little bird sat on my camera looking at the screen, probably trying to figure out what was going on. But I got some nice pics anyway. And my hand nearly froze. Couldn’t feel a thing. Until my hand started to warm up. That pain was bad. And it lasted quite a while. My hands haven’t been that cold in a long time. Sigh. But I did have fun. The fingers on my hand are still a bit sore.
It was another January day, the temp was -5F, so not so bad, and it was cloudy. A good day for snowshoeing, I thought. This time I was smart and let someone know where I was going and about how long I would be gone. I had a lot of snowshoe trails by that time and they were nice and hard, like walking on a sidewalk. But I wanted to extend one of the trails so off I went carrying my snowshoes for the first part. I came to where the trail split, one heading south, one north. I was supposed to be going south. But instead I decided to head north. Why? There was some wolf tracks along that trail that looked quite fresh. That naturally caught my interest. So much for letting someone know where I was going. Sigh. I continued along that trail for some time. The wolf tracks kept going. But I stopped at one spot and decided it would be nice to make a new trail heading east.
So I strapped on my snowshoes. About then a couple of gray jays showed up looking for some food. This time I had brought some food just in case. Not for me, for any critters I might see along the way. I put some pieces of bread on my hand and they came down right away and helped themselves. Then off they flew, chirping their thanks. Gray jays always do that when they get some food.
The snow was deep again this year. Even with snowshoes a person still sinks a bit. I came to a nice grove of spruce and balsam. I stopped and listened. Sure enough, there was some boreal chickadees among those trees. That’s exactly where they will be found. They are always such a treat to see. I counted 8, plus a nuthatch. I watched for a bit then continued my walk. If I had been smart I would have turned back at that point. But I decided to continue a bit further. I soon came to a spot at the top of a hill. It was a rather steep sloping hill going down about 100 feet. Too steep to walk down. Hmm, I wonder if I could sort of ski down? Why not? So off I went. It was fun. Until….
This has gotten longer than I planned. Will continue the story next time, you will definitely want to come back! Enjoy your week everyone and God bless!
Steve and Muffin. (The featured image at top is not mine, thanks Candace)