Sunday, November 15, 2009

Weather Wise for Winter

"It" started yesterday, and today we wake to another world, subtle and quiet compared to the balmy fall weather of late (high 60s, fondly remembered, just a couple days ago). Now smothered in the proverbial blanket. Reminds me of another world of white not quite a year ago.

The bird channel is available for viewing, all morning, and the cats are enjoying the show.

The first bird we noticed this morning, however, was the Sharp-shinned Hawk, perhaps a descendant of Artemis, who helped launch this blog almost four years ago. This photo wasn't captured this morning, but about two weeks ago. It's not the thistle seed that attracts her to the feeder.

Although I was inside, she must have heard me; the camera doesn't catch her unaware twice. Spots mark "her" as an immature. (Guess I'm continuing the Artemis identity, can't quite consider this one a male, though that's certainly possible.) Our feeders seem to offer good training for the young of this species. We've also seen quite a few of the larger Cooper's Hawks this year, but it seems to be the Sharpies who show up on days like this.

On a more colorful note, the Husband called me to the window yesterday to see a few of these bright interlopers. The Eastern Blue Jay, of which I managed to catch only one in this photo, is moving westward into new territories, of which the Denver Urban Forest is one. Rarely do they make it across the suburbs and the treeless fringe up into our foothills forests, so it's always a momentous occasion when they do.

But I'll let the Watcher explain all about blue jays; which he does most expertly! Scroll down for his Awesome Graphic explaining their migration across the Plains.

Usually weather like this brings the Steller's Jays down from Evergreen, but we haven't spotted any yet today. We have about a foot (30 cm) so far... a little less than in the pre-Halloween storm shown here. Honest, this and the one at the top are two different pictures! Note the added cervid in this version.

The winter will unfold as it will. Perhaps it's best that we don't know what's coming.

1 comment:

greentangle said...

It's nice to see the snow, even if only in a photo. I'd miss blue jays if I moved west; lots of them here and one of my favorites.