Sunday, January 27, 2013
The deep freeze ends
It was -28C with the wind chill - no birds were anywhere to be seen except for a few intrepid chickadees and a pair or two of downy woodpeckers.
It warmed slightly during one day and this lovely creature appeared just outside my window.
Glaring at me for disturbing its hunting the little sharp shinned hawk left in a hurry almost immediately after I got three pictures through the window.
There weren't very many little birds around for it to find lunch and I didn't envy it the search. It was bitter cold.
The dogs of course mostly loved it, and raced around like puppies, even though their walks were much shorter than usual. And it continued to snow every day. Fine powdery stuff, like flour to walk in, it was so heavy and thick.
On the plus side, the last walks of the day around 9 or 10 p.m. were magnificent. They were so still. Sound seems to travel further during such cold for some reason. As the moon grew more full, it seemed to sail through the skies, peaking through clouds, making them gleam and glow white and often full of soft colour. Winds high up tore ragged holes in the fluffy canopy allowing inky midnight blue sky to be seen with the occasional star - distant and cold-looking.
Often I would stand and just stare at the sky, the dogs coming back to encourage me to keep moving, since it was getting colder by the second and eventually paws would feel it.
And then this morning it all changed. It seems like hundreds of little birds - gold finches, redpolls, American tree sparrows - all competing with each other and with the mourning doves, blue jays and woodpeckers for much needed food. And their feathers - beginning to show breeding colours - flashes of pink breasts on the redpolls and yellow on goldfinch bellies
A sun dog greeted me when I opened the door to let the labs and cats out first thing.
May you be safe and warm wherever you are today and always.