Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mountain snow

A little snow, a little ice fell on the mountain yesterday. This photo comes from the earlier stages of the precipitation. By early evening I had about 4 inches of crunchy snow on the ground. After that some freezing drizzle fell, and the snow was compacted down.

This time I was lucky. The heavy icing that was predicted didn’t fall here. That isn’t to say I didn’t have any icing, only that what I had wasn’t too bad. I’ve seen far worse. Sometime during the night I lost power but I didn’t know about it until I woke up and saw the digital clocks flashing. So even that wasn’t too bad.

Yesterday afternoon the avian residents with whom I share this little corner of the forest emptied the feeders within an hour. I filled the feeders again and again and soon lost count of how many times I filled them.

For the first time this season, juncos carpeted my deck, all waiting quietly and patiently for their turns on the platform feeder. Until this storm, I’d seen juncos regularly at the feeders, but it’s always been just 2 or 3 at a time. When my deck is dark with juncos, I know winter and a storm has arrived.

Juncos are easier to count than many of my other visitors who flit in and out faster than I can keep track of them. Juncos just stand and wait their turn. And when they finish, they don’t disappear into the woods. They just go back to the deck railing or the deck itself and wait some more, waiting for their next round at the feeder.

Each of the species that visit the feeders has a distinctive species "birdsonality." Juncos come across as gentle and polite to me. Chickadees and titmice are rather hyperactive. Nuthatches are scrappy. Goldfinch seem a bit stolid. Blue jays are bold and brassy. Downy woodpeckers are focused.


Pablo said...

We get juncos this time of year too. They're a pleasure to watch at the feeders.

Dana and Daisy said...

Maybe they are putting it away for the warmth!


Betsy from Tennessee said...

Glad you didn't get the horrible ice, Carolyn. AND--that's so nice of you to feed and feed and feed those starving birdies. We don't have juncos here--at least none that I've seen.

Beautiful picture of the snow!