It's the kind of day not fit for man nor beast, as the most recent storm rolls though, with another icier mess on its tail. Somehow I lucked out and my husband shoveled this time, going so far as to tell me to relax. (At least I THINK that was my husband?!) We then stayed in and watched a few old TV movies about natural disasters, including one about a shift in the polarity of Earth, causing Miami to reach absolute zero. Far fetched yes, but the scenery had nothing on what I can see from my own back door.
The recent string of storms caused me to buy some bird seed for my feathered friends in the back yard. They have provided me with some comical moments watching not only their antics, but the excited response from my two feline would-be hunters watching from the windows. Scruffy, named for the mess she was when she first sprinted across out front porch as a stray, talks to the birds as though they might answer. The now 2 1/2 year old I still call Kitten, crouches so as not to be seen by the birds, and then jumps at the window as the fly past. It is quite a game of cat and....well bird, for them. Cat and mouse is an outdoor sport for spring and summer.
In watching the birds, I was excited myself to see a red headed woodpecker, not five feet from my kitchen window. The markings were beautiful. A pair of cardinals seemed to play tag, with only one feasting at a time, while the other looked on from the oak tree above. My favorite were the sparrows, though, who seemed to have their own version of a bunny hop going on. The forward and backward jumps freed seeds that had been covered by the still falling snow. I am curious to see how they handle the ice encrusted snow tomorrow, that will make the deck a skating rink for birds.
I have fed the birds during the winter months for quite a long time. My mom had a love for birds, and with it a good deal of knowledge of their species and habits. She taught me, in some respects, how to care for them in the winter, although tossing seed out the back door really wasn't very difficult.
Both Mom and I each had unexpected guests, who also enjoyed a free meal, coming back frequently. On the farm our usual uninvited guest was a one legged rooster, who had been run off by the more spry two legged chickens at a neighboring farm. It wasn't that we took pity on him, it's just that the chickens were more successful in chasing him away than we were. He stuck around for several years.
Here in the mountains, we have had squirrels, chipmunks, opossum, skunks, deer, and of course.... a diabetic Vietnamese Pot Bellied Pig named Chloe. What were you expecting?! Chloe lived a country block away, but would make her way to our house across a creek and through the woods. She came to visit my children who oohed and aahed over her, and undoubtedly to find the waiting snack that wasn't on her low carb diet. Thankfully, her home phone number was on her pretty pink collar.
We also have had surprise visits from other, much larger animals, but that's a story for another time.
A warm country hug to all,