winter lessons

lanternWinter has finally come to South Jersey. We had about 7 inches of snow over the weekend and it’s not going anywhere because it’s COLD!

titmouse

Tufted Titmouse

When I went out to feed the birds this morning, I noticed that they were much more tame than usual. Usually they scatter as soon as they see me coming. But today, they didn’t budge until I was about 3 feet away.

sparrow

White Throated Sparrow

I’m guessing the frigid temperatures and blanket of snow have made food such a priority that their usual skittishness is tempered.

nuthatch

Red Breasted Nuthatch

So, after I fed them, I grabbed my camera.  I took the above pictures in about 5 minutes, and then left them to the serious business of eating.

a winter’s tale

Mockingbirds love our yard. They spend entire spring days here, singing to me as I garden. They nest here, raising their babies and dive bombing the dog if she gets too close. I’ve watched dozens of these sassy birds over the years, but I’ve never seen anything like the mockingbird who is spending this winter here.

mockingbirdHe flies in to meet me at the compost pile every day, and by the time I’ve emptied the bucket and turned around, he’s in there rummaging around for fresh tidbits. Where does he come from, and how does he know when to meet me there? Does he hear my feet crunching the snow on the long walk back there? Is he watching the house all day, just waiting for me to head to the back? It’s a mystery so far, but I’m on the case.