I’m not afraid of winter. I’ve lived most of my life in areas with serious winters, the most serious of all here where we live.

This year, we’ve had the least snow ever recorded for any winter. It isn’t that there wasn’t snow elsewhere. It’s just the storms blew out to sea south of here, or took a path past us and went straight into northern New England and Canada. So we’ve been surrounded by snow, but it missed us.

Snowy Goldfinch

Not this time, though this isn’t exactly a monumental snowfall. In fact, it’s just a nasty little snow and sleet combination. It’s the sort of storm that makes the roads dangerous without adding any of the beauty of the season. It lands on the ground and gets sodden then hard as a rock. Not a really fun kind of snow. You don’t build snow people from this kind of storm.

Woodpecker in snow

What you do is cancel non-critical appointments and wait until they clean up the roads … or the rain takes care of it for you. Regardless, we live on a pretty lethal road. People drive as if their four-wheel-drive cars make them impervious to road conditions. Maybe (only maybe) on snowy roads, but 4WD is no better for driving on ice than any other car.

Goldfinch in snow

No one seems to have conveyed this to the drivers. We have more fatal accidents on this road than on any other road in the state … which is saying something because Massachusetts drivers are not known for their cautious driving habits.

Junco on the railing

Once we decided to not test the roads, we settled down and I made chili, my favorite cold-weather dinner.

As soon as we get “weather,” the birds get crazy as if this is going to be their last seed, ever. The moment it started to snow, there were dozens of birds on the deck, knocking each other off the feeders.

This was one of those days when many beautiful birds appeared and the moment I raised my camera, vanished. Sometimes, I think it’s personal.

This Junco has an attitude!

I’m sure Duke’s excursions into the backyard don’t encourage the birds to get friendlier, though to be fair, he showed no sign of being interested in hunting the birds. He was just curious about them.

Junco atop the Frog

And for the day, my favorite show. There were not only a lot of birds on the deck. They were also very active. Lots of fluttering and flapping as they knocked each other off the feeder. Normally, we’d have filled the feeder today, but it was snowing a bit hard and there are still plenty of seeds left if they’d stop banging each other around!

It’s difficult to show the activity, though. This picture shows it as well as I think I can!

Some fluttering in the snow


  1. Missed that one I think – I love how the birds are battleing their right to the food!!!
    And I‘m on a personal trip against 4x4s in non particularly demanding or dangerous terrains. This is a topic to make me mad when I visit Switzerland. It seems that ‚everybody‘ (not really but too many) own a large vehicule. We have an imposed duty anyway to have winter attire on our cars and honestly, most owners of those Chelsey tractors don‘t need them truly…. And they consume so much…. when we have perfectly adequate public transports. Not as with you guys…. where it may very well be absolutely necessary to have a ‚go all and everywhere‘ car.


  2. I saw a fat bluebird out in the snow yesterday. I mean, he was *fat*. I think the birds around here are well fed enough that they don’t need feeders. Almost all of the birds I see look healthy enough to me. I mean, the snowfall we’re getting right now is an anomaly. I wish I had my phone though, because it was a pretty picture seeing him on the snow, but alas I was doing the dishes, and that’s not a good time to have one’s phone in one’s hands.


    1. For all you know, there ARE feeders. Most of us don’t advertise. But also, it hasn’t been as cruel a winter as we sometimes get, so that probably helps. But I’m betting there ARE feeders here and there. Remember that birds fly, so just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t around.

      Liked by 1 person

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