Posts Tagged ‘Birds’

Most days, fol­low­ing a brief period of cof­fee and news con­sump­tion, I launch into a caffeine-inspired frenzy of laun­dry, house tidy­ing, email, writ­ing and client-related or other work. Now that we are empty-nesters and week­end soc­cer and school events are a thing of the past, week­ends are often filled with bread and cake bak­ing, errands, major clean­ing or repair projects and—in season—gardening.

But some days…

Well, some days I just can’t quite seem to fig­ure out what to do. I don’t feel par­tic­u­larly inspired by any poten­tial plan. Do I want to sew? Nah. Do I want to make jam? Meh. Do I want to re-arrange the book­shelves? Not really.

Today was one of those days. I spent about 45 min­utes half-heartedly pick­ing up one project and putting it down, wan­der­ing around and look­ing at all the things that needed doing. Noth­ing was really cap­tur­ing my atten­tion. So I was stand­ing upstairs, look­ing out the win­dow and pon­der­ing my lack of enthu­si­asm. That’s then I saw them.

The cedar waxwings are here!

Cedar Waxwings on Win­ter King Hawthorns. (Click on photo to embiggen.)

The cedar waxwings only make an appear­ance here once a year and it’s always within about a two-week period in Feb­ru­ary. In 2009, they were here on Feb­ru­ary 11—yes, exactly three years ago today. In 2010 and 2011 they were here Feb­ru­ary 19. That’s impres­sively reg­u­lar for a group of ani­mals with­out the ben­e­fit of a Google calendar.

Cedar Waxwings on Win­ter King Hawthorns. (Click on photo to embiggen.)

The big attrac­tion for the cedar waxwings are the Win­ter King Hawthorns that line the dri­ve­way clos­est to our house. They are full of lus­cious red berries even in Feb­ru­ary. The cedar waxwings fly in in a huge flock, perch­ing in the trees sur­round­ing the hay­field. You can hear them chat­ter­ing away and see them swoop­ing down in groups of three and four, help­ing them­selves to the berry banquet.

Within three or four days, the trees will be denuded of ever last berry and the cedar waxwings will move on to the next stop on their annual itinerary.

Nat­u­rally, I was inspired to whip out the cam­era and the honkin’ big lens. It didn’t mat­ter that it was cold and a lit­tle driz­zly. I finally had found my project. Good thing I was stand­ing around gaz­ing out the windows!

Cedar Waxwing in Win­ter King Hawthorn (click on photo to embiggen.)

Robin

I’m not even sure how much snow we have, but we have a lot of snow. So far the power is on. But I don’t think the 100 lbs. of bird­seed I bought in prepa­ra­tion for the snow is going to hold out long. The birds are arriv­ing in droves.

See for yourself.

The birds are practically knocking on the back door asking for more bird seed.

The birds are prac­ti­cally knock­ing on the back door ask­ing for more bird seed.

Harry ventured out to do a bit of damage control to the chicken coop. The chickens are nestled inside where it is heated and I have given them treats of kale and dried corn on the cob.

Harry ven­tured out to do a bit of dam­age con­trol to the chicken coop. The chick­ens are nes­tled inside where it is heated and I have given them treats of kale and dried corn on the cob.

At one point there were about 25 cardinals outside in addition to all the other birds.

At one point there were about 25 car­di­nals out­side in addi­tion to all the other birds.

The goldfinches have lost their color for the winter.

Robin

Garden and food writer Robin Ripley is co-author of Grocery Gardening. Her new book, Wisdom for Home Preservers, is now available from Taunton Press. Bumblebee is about her life in rural Maryland, her garden, cooking, dogs and pet chickens. She also blogs about food and chickens at Eggs & Chickens. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. Thank you for visiting.

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