Thursday, February 15, 2007
Snowed in, called out
I got up Wednesday morning, the morning of the big snowstorm, fully intending to go to work. I looked outside and yeah, it looked bad. The road was white with packed-down ice from the few drivers who'd ventured out, and the car--well, we park right next to the road rather than on our steep driveway when it snows--the car was buried under about two feet of powder and plowed snow from the road. Still, I got in the shower and made Kat's coffee, thinking that she might still want to go to school.
I got out of the shower and woke Kat, who said the university, which NEVER closes due to snow, was closed, so why was I waking her up? At this point, I realized that we probably weren't going to get the car out of its icy tomb, and I wasn't going to work. It was just as well, because I took the day to read, from cover to cover, my Audubon guide to backyard birdwatching and feeding. What a great book! I took little notes (like the English major I am), planned some bird-friendly spring plantings (I'll blog on that closer to spring), and kept the feeders out back filled. Exhausting day! Somehow, I managed to cram a viewing of Return of the King and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in there too! I know, I know--I'm a dynamo.
Boy, did those birds eat yesterday. I read in my Audubon book that more mourning doves will come to feeders during hard snows and colder weather; I saw proof of that yesterday. As it's gotten colder this winter, I've noticed that each week, I get a couple more doves, and since the big snowfall they decided that my al fresco grill was the place to be. I had twelve birds at one time, setting a MODO record.
I also had white-throated, song, and tree sparrows; dark-eyed juncos; two female (never seen more than one a time) and one male cardinal; bluejays; black-capped chickadees; the downy and the red-bellied woodpecker; white-breasted nuthatches; tufted titmice; and one female house finch. They eat continually throughout the constant snowfall, and I filled the one hanging feeder nearest the house three times and scattered seed underneath each time. Of course, they had to dig for it only a few minutes after each time, and I tried to help them with that by digging with my boot down to the buried stuff.
I took some photos but they're not too great. Some are through the porch window, and even the ones taken outside suffer from not enough light:
Isn't he handsome? I love me some Mr. Cardinal.
This next picture reminds me of a great song:
"I'm not waiting on a lady,
I'm just waiting on a friend."
I also read in my book that unlike brown creepers or woodpeckers, nuthatches can go up or down a tree thanks to their toe structure and the fact that they don't need to prop themselves up with their tail feathers. Neat.
The marsh and backyard:
I wonder what he's thinking. Probably something like, "It's sure gonna suck to dig that car out tomorrow." My sore back, shoulders, and neck can attest to that, little sparrow.