Friday, November 23, 2018

Ducks of winter

The ducks came back! They just couldn't stay away!

We've had snow and high winds and bitter bitter cold. A local Facebook friend posted a memory from last November: she was mowing her lawn exactly a year ago! Yesterday I dug out my warmest parka and folded out the furry hood to make a protective tunnel for my face and it was still bitter cold.

But the ducks came back. I'd post a photo but it was so cold my cell phone camera refused to function. The big pond is completely frozen and the little pond is half frozen so the ducks, masses of them, are huddled in the small area of open water. They try to stay as close to the shore as possible, but when Hapi and I walk by they head out away from us, quacking complaints about having to move.

The three blue jays keeping all the little birds away from my bird feeder had to give it up because the snow covered all the nearby branches where they were perching. So the little guys, the goldfinches and chickadees, one lone sparrow, a nuthatch and three cardinals, have been mobbing the feeder. The cardinals are very shy, they try to stay well out of view but in a bright red coat that's hard to do.

The female cardinal is easy to pick out, she's more brown than red. I was surprised to be able to distinguish the two males, one is bright red and the other more of a pinky-coral colour. I'm told their plumage gets darker as they mature so the coral cardinal must be a youngster.

I went snowshoeing on Wednesday with my walking-cycling group. We walked around a golf course in the fresh powdery snow. The first day of snow was heavy and wet but then it got cold and the second day of snow was powdery. Two people didn't have snowshoes so we walked single file to create a trail they could walk on easily. Hapi set out joyfully across the snow to explore the wide expanse of the golf course 'greens', but she soon tired of slogging through deep snow and joined our single file expedition with the snowshoeless couple. She's not a puppy anymore.

We saw deer tracks which Hapi investigated very thoroughly, and strange tracks on a frozen pond. We tried to guess what made them. We think it might have been a pair of creatures, perhaps otters, sliding on the soft ice. Hapi had the good sense not to investigate.

Today is Black Friday, I bought bird seed on sale. Feeding the economy, the birds and my soul.


Wisewebwoman said...

Sounds like a great adventure in spite of the weather. I love your story of the birds. I was plagued with blue jays too, noisy and sloppy eaters I always loved when they vanished and left the little ones alone :)


needs you deserve said...
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Joared said...

I shiver just reading about the bitter bitter cold. When we lived in the snowy Midwest it was the squirrels we had a problem with keeping all the birds away.

walaa said...
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