Monday, December 27, 2010

Snow day

As you may already know, we here in the Eastern part of the country enjoyed (and I use the term very, very loosely) our first Nor'easter of the winter last night. We already had a bit of accumulation when I went to bed last night, but when I woke up... well, I think this shot of the snow piled on an old bird's nest pretty much says it all:

While I was photographing the nest, a White-breasted Nuthatch landed on a nearby branch; in this shot it's got its feathers puffed up to ward off the cold:

I figured most of the birds would spend the day hunkered down somewhere to wait out the storm, but apparently it takes a lot more than a couple feet of snow to dampen their spirits—not to mention their appetites.

A few shots of various Goldfinches up on the hook holding the feeder:

I even have a new bird to introduce to the blog, as I discovered while I was going through my images that a pair of birds I'd mistaken for sparrows of some sort were in fact Pine Siskins. First up, a look at the female Siskin—note the hint of yellow down toward the tips of her wings:

A shot of the male, where you can see not only the yellow markings (I have no idea how I managed to miss the bird's coloring the first time around) but its distinctive thin, sharply pointed beak:

And the two of them on the feeder; they really managed to hold their own whenever a Goldfinch tried to kick them off their perch:

I also suspect I was followed home yesterday, as I had my first Redpoll stop by the feeder today:

The snow finally began tapering off shortly after noon, which meant I unfortunately had to start thinking about digging out my car—a task I was dreading more than usual for obvious reasons (mine's the one on the right):

Ultimately, I ended up having to completely clear the area directly in front of my car—which, thanks to the plow and the wind, meant I began my shoveling at waist level (thankfully, it was cold enough that we got a dry, fluffy snow; if it'd been the wet, heavy kind I'd probably still be outside digging). Then I used the shovel to get the worst of the snow off the hood and windshield, and then finally dug a path to my car door (making it wide enough so I could then open said door). Gotta love all-wheel drive, though, as after I got it started my car pulled out of its spot with no more difficulty than if this had been a mid-summer day.

However, before any of that happened I had to clear a path from my front door. Which wasn't so bad directly in front of my door, but meant a bit more work once I got to where the snow had drifted across my walkway:

Good times. How many months is it until spring, again?

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