Tag Archives: February

Great Backyard Bird Count 2009

Pine Siskins

I wasn’t going to participate in the GBBC this year since I am leaving for Texas on Sunday morning and won’t be able to finish the weekend.  I half-heartedly noticed 2 Black-capped Chickadee, 1 White-breasted Nuthatch and 1 Downy Woodpecker yesterday morning when I filled the feeders.

BUT, this morning, I happened to look out the kitchen window and HOLY Pine Siskinagogo (if I can borrow the term from @ratcliffe).  There are hundreds of them in the backyard.  Literally.  They are EVERYWHERE: in the trees; on all the feeders, in the shrubs, the ground is alive with them.  I wish there was a way of sharing just what I am seeing.  It is like a scene from the “Birds” and would be frightening if they weren’t 5″ long.

pine-siskin-waiting1

Quick, run to the window.  What are you seeing?

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Color Starvation

My eyes are starved for color. The world is awash in gray and brown–faded, tired, and dirty. The lingering snow is gray on gray. The woods are monochromatic soldiers in shades of taupe and ash. The patches of grass showing through on the frozen edges are a matted mousy brown. The only respite in all this dreary monotony is the muted greens of the wild mountain laurel and the furled rhododendrons drooping in the cold.

My eyes yearn for the first faint blush of swollen buds on the trees where the whole mountain side is a watercolor; the hint of yellow Forsythia flowers as they test the weather before turning the world golden; the early hardy dancing daffodils, and the peek of yellow and purple crocus in the greening lawn.

My eyes eagerly seek among the trees and brushes for the bright plumage of returning birds. I long to drink in the brilliant orange of the Oriole; to bask in the sunshine of a Yellow Warbler, to squint from the blinding whiteness of a Common Merganser.

February is the month where I can see the light at the end of the tunnel of winter. I am balking at the color diet I am on. I am ready. But nature is still subdued, resting, waiting.

I do not wait well.

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