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Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Frozen Feathers


Just before the cold wave hit
(or the balmy summer break to my friends in western states and Canada) we had a little ice storm. Here in the valley the ice wasn't stupendous, but it sure made a mess. What a job the boss has had keeping up the driveway!

Anyhow, when the Mourning Doves came in to the feeder that morning I noticed one that had a badly damaged tail. It had down feathers all clumped up and pulled out and stuck to it, and its big tail feathers were half pulled out and an awful mess.

At first I blamed the Cooper's Hawk that landed on Liz's car hood the other day...while she was sitting in it...Tufted Titmouse in its talons and hunger in its eyes. (I haven't seen her yet, but I know she's around. Every now and then all the birds either flee or freeze, hoping to escape her attentions. I don't blame them.)



Then I realized that several of the doves had similar damage, although none of them quite as severe, and all of them had ice all over their tails.

They must have frozen to the branches as they roosted and the ice formed. They seemed fine though and the same number has come in for the cracked corn every day since, but I wonder how many birds and other creatures were less fortunate.

It's just below zero this morning, a veritable heat wave for many of my friends, but I am going to add an extra cup of corn and sunflower seeds to the feeder this morning, as soon as it is light enough for me to see the ice, and stay inside when I can.

Stay warm, dear friends, stay warm. 



Sunday, January 09, 2022

Sunday Stills...Resolutions

Horned Lark


I don't exactly do resolutions, having learned that I am going to fail every single time, no matter how desirable the results may be.


Oddly pigmented American Goldfinch
that has been hitting the feeders lately

However, I am always resolute about chasing more birds, and, given the opportunity, 2022 won't be any different. Almost 50 species in state already.


Normal colored Goldfinch

For more Sunday Stills.... 


A lousy photo, but this is a young Bald Eagle
being mobbed by a crow while it was strafing the ducks at
Schoharie Crossing the other day

Thursday, January 06, 2022

The Fuzzy Green Pants

 


Been working off and on at the daunting task of cleaning out the folks' house. You can only do it just so long at any given time because of the myriad decisions needed. Toss, sell, or distribute among family? For every single thing we come across, and there are many things.

One day a couple of months ago we were going through clothes. I came upon a gigantic largish pair of fuzzy green polar fleece pants. My first inclination was to toss them in the bag for the clothing drop off. They are a Godawful color and kinda shapeless.

However, polar fleece is fine stuff. I looked at them and thought about days when we are lucky to get the temperature inside the house to fifty and shiver all day. Maybe I could shove them on over all my other stuff and enjoy life a little more..

So I brought them home, washed them, and tossed them in the office. The other day it was nasty cold in the house. East wind sucks the warmth right out of this place....brrrr. So I dug out those crazy pants and put them on to walk the dog. My torso froze out there in the shrieking wind.

My legs were utterly impervious to it.

So I used them as long johns under my sweats. It was a bit crowded as they are made of the heaviest of old fashioned polar fleece and it is thick.

However, I was warm all day even out in the weather.

Much to my amazement I love them and wish it was hygienic to wear them every day. Alas, cleanliness being adjacent to Godliness, they just came out of the washer....

Mom was always a talented seamstress. She made square dance outfits, authentic Scottish kilts and skirts, dress shirts for Dad, wonderful quilts, blankets, and anything that took her fancy.

It appears that she also made ugly green pants and I will be thanking her for them for a long time to come.



Monday, January 03, 2022

Sunday Stills....Still

 


Sorry I have been absent from Sunday Stills for so long. We have been so terribly ill that I barely crawled out of my chair for several weeks. Much better now, and back in the game.

 These were taken on a still and beautiful evening just a few weeks ago.

For more Sunday Stills.....