Bzzzz February 11th, 2012

Most days, following a brief period of coffee and news consumption, I launch into a caffeine-inspired frenzy of laundry, house tidying, email, writing and client-related or other work. Now that we are empty-nesters and weekend soccer and school events are a thing of the past, weekends are often filled with bread and cake baking, errands, major cleaning or repair projects and—in season—gardening.

But some days…

Well, some days I just can’t quite seem to figure out what to do. I don’t feel particularly inspired by any potential plan. Do I want to sew? Nah. Do I want to make jam? Meh. Do I want to re-arrange the bookshelves? Not really.

Today was one of those days. I spent about 45 minutes half-heartedly picking up one project and putting it down, wandering around and looking at all the things that needed doing. Nothing was really capturing my attention. So I was standing upstairs, looking out the window and pondering my lack of enthusiasm. That’s then I saw them.

The cedar waxwings are here!

Cedar Waxwings on Winter King Hawthorns. (Click on photo to embiggen.)

The cedar waxwings only make an appearance here once a year and it’s always within about a two-week period in February. In 2009, they were here on February 11—yes, exactly three years ago today. In 2010 and 2011 they were here February 19. That’s impressively regular for a group of animals without the benefit of a Google calendar.

Cedar Waxwings on Winter King Hawthorns. (Click on photo to embiggen.)

The big attraction for the cedar waxwings are the Winter King Hawthorns that line the driveway closest to our house. They are full of luscious red berries even in February. The cedar waxwings fly in in a huge flock, perching in the trees surrounding the hayfield. You can hear them chattering away and see them swooping down in groups of three and four, helping themselves to the berry banquet.

Within three or four days, the trees will be denuded of ever last berry and the cedar waxwings will move on to the next stop on their annual itinerary.

Naturally, I was inspired to whip out the camera and the honkin’ big lens. It didn’t matter that it was cold and a little drizzly. I finally had found my project. Good thing I was standing around gazing out the windows!

Cedar Waxwing in Winter King Hawthorn (click on photo to embiggen.)

Posted In: Nature and Wildlife

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Bzzzz February 6th, 2010

I’m not even sure how much snow we have, but we have a lot of snow. So far the power is on. But I don’t think the 100 lbs. of birdseed I bought in preparation for the snow is going to hold out long. The birds are arriving in droves.

See for yourself.

The birds are practically knocking on the back door asking for more bird seed.

The birds are practically knocking on the back door asking for more bird seed.

Harry ventured out to do a bit of damage control to the chicken coop. The chickens are nestled inside where it is heated and I have given them treats of kale and dried corn on the cob.

Harry ventured out to do a bit of damage control to the chicken coop. The chickens are nestled inside where it is heated and I have given them treats of kale and dried corn on the cob.

At one point there were about 25 cardinals outside in addition to all the other birds.

At one point there were about 25 cardinals outside in addition to all the other birds.

The goldfinches have lost their color for the winter.

Posted In: Chickens, Nature and Wildlife

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