Winter is reaching that tedious portion where the cloud cover blankets the sky about 80% of the time. The Pine River is covered over with a solid sheet of ice and the ground is white with snow. We Michiganders are feeling squeezed between these two cold slices of stale bread. Bright days are a precious commodity and all of us storm outside to get a free dose of vitamin D when the sun shines. Like everyone else, I am spending way to many hours indoors bumping into walls. Today for instance I untangled the wires behind my TV entertainment complex...what a lot of spaghetti that was...this is how I'm marking time; doing silly barely useful chores. How nice it would be to play in the garden or splash in the river. Fat chance. Even the birds seem bored with cracking seeds and looking intently for critters to snatch up and fly away with. To all of you in the Southern Hemisphere or to those a thousand miles closer to the equator than where I presently sit, we long to hear the stories and see the pictures of your sunny skies and colorful birds. Help your snow bound brethren to the North break our cabin fever!
My dear, who does your nails?
The Irruption: Snow owls breed and raise young from May through September in the tundra along the Arctic rim. Apparently the small rodents known as lemmings that feed these young families had a record year in the reproduction department. Where Snow owls usually breed two owlets a season this years clutch sizes have numbered six or seven. Wintering owls of this generation have push further south and in greater numbers than any time in recent decades. I am wondering if this is true for the Snow owls of Northern Europe and Russia as well?
I went looking and finally found one perched like a stone sculpture on top of a house near Lake St. Claire. My daughter informed me of the significance of the Snow owl to children's literature thanks to the Harry Potter series where they act as feathery postal workers delivering important messages. We agreed that my owl had a very Hogwartsian feel to it. Given the fact that this bird didn't budge for the hour I watched it is ample proof E-mail and texting has caught on with scholarly wizards and witches as well as more common place young people.
I'm guessing this is a Sharp-shinned hawk sitting in a Poplar tree in my woefully lit front yard.
Darn near half of this frame is filled with a weather beaten, first winter, Ring-billed gull yet it is still difficult to see. If there was a camouflage award, this would be a finalist.
This is the home of World Bird Wednesday. A place for bird photographers from around the world to gather and share their photographs and experiences as they pursue Natures most beautiful treasurers, the birds.
You don't have to be a Bird Watcher or expert photographer to join in, just enjoy sharing what you bring back from your explorations and adventures into nature!
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