Monday, February 15, 2010

Newsletter - 2/15/10

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Hello Friends!

I hope you are finding joy in the midst of winter. Here in Central Virginia we've had more snow than I've seen in 30 years. Weather patterns are certainly changing. I get my exercise keeping up with making sure the birds and wildlife have enough food.

© 2010 Donna L. Watkins - Mourning Dove Snoozing in Snowstorm
Birds have different personalities. I've noticed that finches get real fussy about sharing their space when the snow's blowing. Normally finches gather in flocks, but maybe the fear of 'not enough' attacks and they expend more energy fighting others off than they get from the few seeds they can glean between the scuffles.

Two additional male cardinals entered our feeding grounds and the resident male cardinal spent lots of energy continually chasing off the other two males. I understand when it's mating season they're not going to allow any other suitors to entice their missy away ... but in a snowstorm, can't you just get down to eating and be nice?

We've had 20 species of birds one day so it was a delight to be providing food for so many. There were plenty of photo opportunities of the birds, even though taken through a window with snow drops on it was a bit more difficult than usual.

Most of the birds were busy about gathering their own meals allowing everybody else to do the same. The Northern Flicker enjoyed the suet feeder and then somehow seemed to know that there were seeds and corn buried under the snow on our concrete benches by the pond. I have been putting food on the benches this winter since we've had numerous snows.

So, Mr. Flicker flew over there and began digging in the snow with his long beak and then scattering seeds all around the bench so the Dark-eyed Juncos and White-throated Sparrows could enjoy them. I took a short video of the Northern Flicker.

The small birds couldn't dig that deep with their short beaks and little feet. I thought it was a very kind thing to do ... and he was well rewarded with a tummy full of seeds. Be sure you don't miss the post below about "Why Birds Feet Don't Freeze."

For those of you who have enjoyed the Butterfly Bench, that's been a treasure of mine from a friend who made it, it doesn't look too inviting in the snow. You'd get a wet fanny if you sat on it now. View Bench and Woods.

Randal has had plenty of exercise shoveling. He's found many muscles that haven't been used for awhile. What a great way to warm up when the power is off. We've lost power and telephone numerous times and during one cold night from 10 pm to 7 am we sure prayed for those who live in the cold, such as homeless people or others who have houses that just won't get warm. Some of our struggles make us even more grateful because they are such light afflictions compared to much of what the world struggles with daily.

Another thing I'm grateful for is YOU! :-)


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