Friday, March 8, 2013

Surprise Snow, and Birds All Over

Apparently out of nowhere, we got over a foot of snow today. (I saw a mildly cautionary winter weather advisory last night, but nothing particularly threatening.) And here I thought winter was over!

And this wasn't just any snow.... It was the kind of thick, wet snow that sticks to everything and turns the world entirely white. I loved this mid-storm view from our apartment's windows this morning, power lines and all:

And whenever the wind knocked down clumps of snow, the already thick snowfall would turn into an impressive avalanche:

I don't know if I've ever seen snow quite this clingy before. It stuck to objects, and then the snow stuck to itself, until inches of snow were hanging down off of various structures. The bird feeder in our yard looked like it was being enveloped by an over-large hat (see this feeder looking relatively normal after last month's blizzard for comparison):

Quickly, chickadee, escape before the snow collapses!

I couldn't stop admiring this snow, and in the process, I found several birds to admire as well. An American Crow cut a stark profile in the snowy trees across the street:

And a male Northern Cardinal looked especially red among all that white:

Our local pair of Red-shouldered Hawks is still hanging around (I saw them sitting together on a branch the other day), and one of these extremely awesome birds took up a snowy post near our yard this afternoon:

(I love that we have these gorgeous creatures around, and I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for a nest!)

Finally, a Northern Mockingbird spent a good deal of time eating old Red Cedar cones and Bittersweet berries in the trees outside our windows, and I got to admire this handsome bird up close. This is how I usually think of mockingbirds, all sleek and long:

I absolutely love the subtle range of colors on this bird's face, and those hazel eyes and tiny white "eyelashes" are very pretty indeed:

One more picture:

Later, I saw another mockingbird (I think this is a different individual), and it gave a totally different impression. Rather than sleek and slim, from this angle the bird was positively puffy. I didn't ever think I would want to call a mockingbird "cuddly," but there you are:

A couple of times, this bird shook its head and spit out some berry seeds. I had no idea this was something birds did! Mouth open... get ready...


Aaaand again! (This last picture has a certain grossness factor, but I think the inside of the mockingbird's mouth looks really cool.)

Wow, the things you learn watching animals up close!

And that pretty much sums up my snowy day. (Pretty snow, pretty birds, and spitting. Yay!) I wouldn't be surprised, though, if this storm was winter's last gasp. The snow turned to rain late this afternoon, and the weather report is calling for 50-degree temperatures over the next few days. In any case, I'm glad I got to enjoy this beautiful, thick snowfall, even if it only lasted a day!


  1. Love your photographs of the birds in the snow -- especially the red-shouldered hawk and the mockingbird! Thanks for posting these!
    I have just discovered your blog and have bookmarked it, and will continue to visit. I see that you are also a fan of Julie Zickefoose.

    Best wishes from Anne

    1. Thanks for your comment, Anne, and I'm glad you enjoyed the photos! :)