Snow Reports: Feb. 12, 2017

Web photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons (Credit: Bear Golden Retriever)

My co-bloggers may pick up on this post, this thread, as the storm goes on. But my in the moment report is that here in The Flats (named for the many tenements in this borderland of Back Central, according to Steve Joncas who grew up in the area), here in The Flats, moderate snow is falling straight down. Really no wind, just the snow bits sifting down as if from a big salt shaker in the sky. I’ve been out once wearing jeans, boots, and a hoodie (in honor of Belichick) and a San Jose Sharks baseball cap that came from who knows where. It wasn’t very cold, which may explain why the snow is heavier than last week’s snowfall. I pushed and threw about three inches of snow, clearing the back and front stairs and walkways around the house, as well as the bulkhead. In the house we’ve been busy with house stuff.

I had gone out around 8 AM to pick up groceries. On an impulse I bought a couple of five-pound bags of bird seed because I’ve been watching the birds for the past week in the neighbor’s yard, where there are feeders, and my yard, where my idea of a feeder has been to toss torn-up bread and muffins on the ground close to fence between the two yards. With the snow last week, it struck me that the birds looked semi-frantic trying to get something to eat. That may just be their style all the time. Maybe I was “projecting” my worries.

In any case, I doubled up the bread run in the yard for the past few days and today got the seeds. I put out a couple of large, heavy disposable plates of food on a tree stump and the flat top of a snow pile to add to the steady supply of feed provided by my neighbor. All morning and into the afternoon our flying friends have been feasting as the snow keeps falling. A pair of cardinals, the bright red male and brown, red-headed female, plus a couple of well-fed blue jays, are the stars of the show. The movie extras are about 50 sparrows shifting from my neighbor’s apple tree where hang the feeders and another feeder on a post made squirrel-proof with a foil-wrapped pole. My offerings are close to the pole-topped birdhouse feeder near the mutual fence. The bird-dance of landings and group “explosions” when something signals them to take off can be fascinating to watch. They move as if on speeded up film. It’s hard to believe their reflexes are so “high twitch.” Of course, the resident squirrels are not passing up an easy lunch. At times, they shove the birds away from the platters. The sparrows could use some coaching in precision dive-bombing to clear out their furry gray competitors.

During the time I’ve written this update, the snow has thickened with bigger flakes and more of a slant coming down. I don’t where the birds will go when the condition goes to white-out, if it does. Same place they always go. Where do they stay outside at night?

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