Freezing But No Frosting

A week ago the ground was covered with a lovely layer of white, which somehow made the chilly temperatures easier to overlook. This weekend the snow has all but disappeared, leaving only cold weather, gusty winds, and little enticement to venture outside.  Freezing with no frosting just isn’t as fun!

The cold weather did, however, bring the birds to the feeders with their hopes high of finding food. Needless to say, obliged them with a plentiful supply and then bundled up and headed out with my camera hoping they would oblige me by posing for some pictures.

This stunning male Pine Warbler was the first to arrive, helping himself to some Bark Butter and a sampling from the seed tray.

A bossy-faced Mockingbird also made an appearance.  He is a frequent visitor and makes it a habit to shoot me an evil-eyed glare before he goes about filling his belly.

This poor female Bluebird didn’t seem too pleased with the wintry weather.  She perched with her feathers puffed up for some extra insulation, every now and then getting a bit disheveled by a gust of wind.

A pair of Cardinals flitted back and forth between the branches and the feeders…

…and a Carolina Wren and a Downy Woodpecker popped in to check out the food offerings.

I have to confess, I actually find taking pictures in the cold rather invigorating; it somehow adds to the fun!

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A Fortunate Mis-forecast

The weekend forecast called for a dusting of snow over the Atlanta area that ended up dropping nine inches in our neck of the woods.  It was a beautiful, perfect-for-packing kind of snow that provided hours of fun and memory making.  It also knocked out our power for about sixteen hours, which simply added to the adventure, allowing us to play “CodeNames” by the fire.

Needless to say, I took advantage of the opportunity to get some snowy bird photos, a rarity here in “Hotlanta!”  I took pictures til my toes were froze, my thumbs were numb, and the camera batteries had died!  Here are a dozen:

White-thraoted Sparrow

Northern Cardinal – Male

Northern Mockingbird

Eastern Bluebird – Male

Dark-eyed Junco

Northern Cardinal – Female

Carolina Chickadee

Eastern Bluebird – Female

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Downy Woodpecker

Brown Thrasher

Pine Warbler – Male

And now, we’ve had our fill of winter weather here in the south; you all up north can keep the snow til next year!

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A Forecast Fit for Feathers and Fur

The light dusting of snow that was predicted for today turned into a steady stream of flakes that still hasn’t stopped!  The birds were out in full force, searching for seed and suet and other tasty treats that I was more than happy to supply.

Meanwhile, in the front yard, Tucker discovered the delights of this wonderful white stuff falling from the sky.

At first he was hesitant…

…but before long he was leaping and lunging and having a blast!

I guess you could say he quickly developed a taste for snow!

We usually don’t get snow this early here in Atlanta, so it was a sweet surprise that made for a thoroughly enjoyable day.

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From Flip Flops to Furry Crocs

Georgia weather can be a bit wacko!  We can go from sunny skies and seventies to bundled up and blustery in the blink of an eye.  One minute I’m wearing flip flops and the next thing I know I’m scurrying to find my furry crocs – which are wonderful, by the way!
This week has been a prime example of the wackiness as the warm, spring-like weather we enjoyed earlier in the week took a nosedive into chillier temps the last couple of days.

One good thing about the colder weather is that the birds come out in greater abundance to fill up at the feeders.  Here are seven that showed up today.

Downy Woodpecker (male and female)

Brown Thrasher

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Tufted Titmouse

White-breasted Nuthatch

Blue Jay

Pine Warbler

I hear there’s actually a chance we may get some snow tomorrow.  If the flakes do start falling I am definitely playing hooky from adult responsibilities and heading outside with the camera!

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Pooch at the Hooch

We took Tucker for a walk along the Chattahoochee River this morning.

The first part of the journey was abounding with birds – like this Great Blue Heron who came soaring by…

…then skidded to a landing…

…then situated himself for a moment…

…then proceeded to go into hunting mode.

He was very aware of the eager lab watching from the shoreline…

…but didn’t let his presence phase his focus in the least.

After walking the trail for awhile we found a place on the other side of the river that was the perfect spot for a game of fetch.

And do you know what’s better than fetch?
Why, fetch with friends of course!
Bringing toys to share instantly makes you the most popular pup at the park.

There were at least a dozen dogs romping around, but Tucker’s favorite playmate was this ten month old Bernice Mountain Dog named Davos. They were best buds in no time at all!

He was such a handsome dog, but I have to warn you, when Davos shook you were in for a shower!

Sometimes they played with the same fetch stick…

…and sometimes they each had their own.

When all was said and done, Tucker was wet, tired, and extremely happy.

This pooch definitely enjoyed his trip to the Hooch!

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An Unexpected Gift

“An unexpected gift at an unexpected time” – that’s the advice reclusive writer William Forrester (played by the brilliant Sean Connery) gives his young prote’ge’ on how to win the girl’s affections in the movie Finding Forrester.

Well, occasionally I give my backyard birds an unexpected gift by filling the hollowed-out cavity in the Dogwood with peanuts.  I’m fairly certain I won the affections of a handsome Red-headed Woodpecker with just such an offering this afternoon.

He would show up…

…peak inside…

…pluck out a peanut…

…then fly off to the edge of the yard to devour it.

He  repeated this process  at least five times while I was out there, and probably many more once I had gone inside.  He was so enjoyable to watch.

And speaking of enjoyable to watch –  Finding Forrester is one of my all-time favorite movies; if you’ve never seen it, please find it and watch it.  You won’t regret it!

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A Boisterous Backyard Bather

Shortly after I refreshed the birdbaths this afternoon, a beautiful Brown Thrasher showed up to test the water.

At first he was a bit hesitant, no doubt because there was a woman pointing a camera lens at him…

…but before long he was having a grand old time.

He would vigorously splash about, pause for a moment, and then resume his wave making.

Every once in awhile he would perch on the edge and I would think that bath-time had ended…

…but then he would dive back into the water and splash even more fiercely than before.  This fellow definitely gets the award for being the most boisterous backyard bather!

I love how he looks when his feathers are all puffed out.

Eventually, he called it quits, drip dried for a minute, and then flew away.

I’m honestly not sure which one of us enjoyed his bath the most!

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