Thursday, December 21, 2017

Winter birds, Winter Solstice...

It was a dark-ish day here so please forgive the less-than-perfect light in my photos.  

There are a few birds that stay here for the winter.  These are tough ones:  the majestic Bald Eagle and the petite Redpoll.  Out on the prairie, the Bald Eagles are numerous in the winter months where they sometimes nest in January and February and then leave in spring.  They spend their time eating mostly jackrabbits and roadkill.  The Redpolls, on the other hand, enjoy seeds and so they are happy to entertain us at the backyard feeders.  The grands like to get close to them by just standing still out by their feeder and letting the Redpolls feed above and below their feet and even at eye level.  That is an amazing feeling -- being so close to a beautiful, wild bird.  We have no chickadees here this winter.  Sometimes they come, and sometimes they just don't.  I've seen a few Sharptail Grouse around  -- another year-round bird for us.  I heard from my father-in-law that he saw a Snowy Owl north of us about 20 miles.  Quite a sight!  I've only seen one in my lifetime and I'm half tempted to drive over where he saw the owl with the hope of maybe seeing it.  There's a chance!  Others in the area have reported sighting him too. 

The weather here has gone from very mild to very cold in just one day's time, and as I type this at 5:00 pm, it is already down to just 6 degrees F.  Chilly!  Colder temps are in the forecast.  There's an inch of snow on the ground and I'm glad for its covering the dirty brown beneath. Thankfully, our wood supply is ample and I'm keeping a fire in the wood stove.  My latest aromatherapy is to put anise seed stars into my kettle of water on the wood stove.  The wafting scent is sweet and spicy.   I find the stars for very little cost in bulk at my health food store.  Winter love!

It's Winter Solstice today, the longest night of the year.  From here on out, we get longer days -- that's the way Hubby sees it.  He's always positive.  Will you celebrate the Solstice?  I did by getting my wool pants out and taking a mile walk up to the mailbox.  I might make us a little mulled wine to sip by the fire tonight and light the candles.  Doesn't that sound nice?

"He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter."  ~John Burroughs
He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter.
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  1. Sounds like we're both having the same weather! The coating of snow does make things prettier! We have a lot of eagles, too, and I saw a cute little nuthatch hopping up and down the trunk of a tree outside my window today. I made a pot of chili and I'm looking forward to some cozy indoor days. Enjoy that wood stove fire for me!

  2. Candlelight and mulled wine sounds like the perfect way to spend a winter evening. Our temperatures are not nearly as cold as yours but for us winter has also arrived with snow and freezing temps.
    As for our winter birds we have mostly Juncos and Chickadees with a pair of Towhees coming into the open more to check out the ground feeder.
    Have a happy and blessed Christmas!

  3. I don't know why, but I love cold weather, and I actually miss the really cold temperatures from our old home in the high desert! It doesn't get very cold where I live now, but it is a damp cold that bites right into you through your clothes. And I miss the bald eagles, too. You have such a gift, Jody, in the nature that surrounds you. It is a big part of what has made you you! Strong, hard-working, insightful, appreciative, warm. I'm glad you live where you do and that you share it here. :)

  4. Love all the birds you captured. I'm with your husband happy to know the days will just keep getting longer! Happy solstice to you and the way you celebrated sounds perfect. A very Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  5. I'm glad to hear you have redpolls. I was just wondering what happened to them. I used to get a large flock of them, but haven't seen any in a few years. Great eagle photos! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Great photos of the birds. I can imagine your grandchildren putting out seeds for the little yard birds. The anise seed aromatherapy sounds a lovely idea. Wishing you a cozy time when you are able to be indoors and also sending greetings and best wishes for a blessed Christmas.

  7. Brrr! It looks cold there. What brave birds! I love the banner photo of your sheep, so pretty. Have a Merry Christmas!

  8. Aw! Yes, sip mulled wine and bask in the candle light! Sending heaps of love your way, sweet Jody. I love knowing you.

  9. Merry Christmas to you and yours Jody. I think it sounds like real winter out on the Prairie. Mr. Edwards could show up bringing Christmas with that kind of cold weather. I hope every thing is lovely. Blessings to you and yours. Kim


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