Snow Birds

11 Jan

For a minute there, I almost believed that winter had forgotten about us up here.

Isaacs lavendar yesterday.

Isaac's lavender yesterday.

Isaacs Lavendar Today

Isaac's lavender today

I was watching the status updates on facebook of my friends down in the city: Playing in the snow in Brooklyn! Cozy inside watching the snow fall.  Snowball fight!

And we were up here, in the great snowy north, with no new snow.  It was mystifying.

And then, as soon as I dared to mention something to Isaac, oh?  What’s that?  A flake.  Followed by another and another.  By the time we got home from the grocery store, it was snowing in earnest.

I set to making a squash couscous and orange and radish salad¹ for dinner, finally cozy inside, watching the snow.  And then it stopped.  Only an inch or so had fallen.  By the time we went to bed we thought it was over and that we had been spared and that we could relax all day today, puttering about, finishing up projects.

But then we woke up.  To over a foot.  So, after a quick cup of coffee we headed outdoors to shovel and shovel.  Two and a half hours later, the important part of the driveway was clear, and we came indoors and broke our fast on scrambled eggs, leftover tzatziki from last night’s dinner and olive flatbreads.  It was a well earned and hearty way to start the day.

I have been working on a post all week that just won’t come together.  So, in its stead, I’m offering you up some images from the great snowy north.

I am obsessed with the birds that gather at our two feeders.  One is just outside the kitchen window (the other is out back near the shed), so I can sit and watch the avian opera play-out while I drink coffee or do the dishes.  I’m beginning to get to know some of the main players.

A fight is about to break out

There’s Lucky, the tailless chickadee, who I have to guess had a very close call with Junco Fred, the gray and white kitty who seems to think the feeder is his McDonalds.


And then there’s the pair of cardinals and this one junco who seems to think he owns the place and hogs the feeder for at least 30 minutes every morning.

The very piggy junco.

The very piggy junco.

And just today I saw one of the flock of goldfinches that I knew were about but had never witnessed taking advantage of my “all-you-can-eat” buffet.

It’s hard to get very good pictures of the birds, but I try.  Some of them seem to be getting used to me lurking about and pointing a black, shiny thing at them, but others don’t appreciate being hounded by the paparazzi at all.

So much for feathered friends!


¹ Page 67 in Claudia Roden‘s A Book of Middle Eastern Food.  Highly recommended, along with the addition of some fresh dill, a small handful of pine nuts and a dash of red wine vinegar.  It’s far more subtle than it sounds.


7 Responses to “Snow Birds”

  1. Ulla January 11, 2009 at 6:19 pm #

    THose birds are perfection! I can not believe how fantastically beautiful they are! Did they let you get up close?

  2. Will B January 11, 2009 at 9:41 pm #

    Wait ’til you’re out of electricity for a few days… Little birds = little seeds: try thistle (the local hardware store may even have some); the finches will take over! Great pics!

  3. Anne January 12, 2009 at 1:22 pm #

    I think your post came together just fine. Love the gorgeous little twee birds!

  4. ann January 13, 2009 at 7:19 am #

    Ulla — Some of them do, others don’t. Mostly I take the pictures of the kitchen feeder from inside the kitchen, but the back feeder, I just stand there in the snow waiting for the birds to forget I’m there and then lean heavily on the zoom. The pictures can be a little grainy, but I think it’s kind of a nice effect.

    Will — Oh I know. I remember those days from my childhood. They were probably more fun back then. No school = all day playing in the snow. Now it just means no heat! Thanks for the hint about the thistle. I’ll pick some up stat!

    Annie — Thanks! I love the birds too. They’re so wonderful.

  5. Julie January 14, 2009 at 9:22 am #

    Snow birds! They’re beautiful. I’m wondering if we’ll have any snow here too. Yours looks glorious. And it all looks very, very cold.

  6. Toni January 14, 2009 at 10:38 pm #

    You’re right – it’s difficult to take photos of birds. I don’t even try anymore, even though I spent years with binoculars and a bird book. And then I see your images and once again I’m amazed by your eye.

    And that icicle dragon with the reflection? Perfection!

  7. ann January 15, 2009 at 7:12 am #

    Julie — It is very, very cold. I’m so glad we’re not upstate today, it’s going to be brutally cold, like -20F windchill cold. Brrrrrr!

    Toni — A dragon! You’re right! I saw it and was like, that looks like something… But I couldn’t peg it. Thanks!!!

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