Sunday, January 27, 2013

The deep freeze ends

For many days I'd look out the door and see this - and then it began to turn very cold.

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.


  1. Although we had an extended period of very cold weather, hovering between -10 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit, it is nothing as compared to the winter temperatures 30-40 years ago when 25-30 degrees below (Fahrenheit) was not uncommon. We are warming up here this week, up to high 40's mid week, and then back to 20's (F) by the weekend. See saw temperatures for sure.

    My pups were full of energy as well!

    1. Interesting about Adia and Cooper being as energetic in the colder weather - loved the photos of them by the way, on your most recent post. We're into rain and mush. I hate that we might lose our snow today - supposed to go to 10C above and it's certainly mild enough. I remember even living in Toronto when I was a kid that temps down to 0 F and below in January were common... no longer. The city heat won't allow that - but I guess I'm taking what I can get living in the country, and hoping for more snow and "normal" winter weather this much better than last. Let's hope climate change slows down even just a tiny bit this year. Have a lovely snowshoe off in your woods Bill as it cools down.