A Season Of Plenty


It was a cold, cold day in January a year ago. It was snowing, the wind was like a knife as it struck you in the face and the temperature was dropping by the moment. So of course the only thing to do was grab your camera, put on all of your long underwear, every single pair, and go outside and take pictures.

But of what you might ask. Anything even remotely sentient was somewhere warm. Even the scenic always photographical trees were hiding under a mantle of warm snow and had faded from view, camouflaged and vaguely promising to reemerge again when the temperature registered on the thermometer once more, perhaps in the Spring.

But even with conditions like this there are those that must venture forth and do a job of work if they want to get fed. This bird, obviously some species that laughs at the cold and stares certain death in the eye from hypothermia or whatever it is called that freezes normal birds to death, was punched in and working its shift.

Busily harvesting tiny little seeds from a leftover seed pod it cracks them open with an audible pop, or at least it would be audible if there weren’t those gale force winds screaming past. There is just enough locked up energy in those minute seeds to power this small creature through another day of subzero winter conditions. It must eat a lot of those seeds as it appears to be in fine shape, almost portly as it were. For it, this is a season of plenty.

So on a cold blustery winter day when all normal people would be inside, except for wildlife photographers, Nature provides for its own. I’m sure this feathery adventurer has a place to go when it’s done eating. Perhaps a nice warm condo with in-floor heat, or maybe a clubhouse where it can wedge itself in amongst all the other birds of its type and share that body heat not to mention groove on that cool, make that warm, jazz playing in the background. Let’s not worry about it. If it can find something to eat in this weather, you know it has a backup plan.

5 Above And All’s Well


It gets cold up here on the mountaintop. Not like arctic cold but cold enough you don’t want to leave any brass monkeys out. The colder it gets the harder it is to make a living. Unless that’s what you’re designed for. Many of the birds up here are designed for exactly that. We don’t see them when it’s warm out but let the temp fall below freezing and they’re everywhere.

When the fair weather birds are frozen solid or down south somewhere, these guys are in their glory. Food for them is pretty easy to find as it simply lies on top of the snow, waiting to be gathered. Plus they seem to like wallowing around in the snow, sticking their head in it, wings fluttering around, throwing the snow up in the air. They treat it like some birds treat warm water. During the day they’re scouting out where the best seed pods stick up through the snow and at night, well it’s unknown what they do at night. Probably sleep.

What they are however is an indicator that life can survive and even prosper during the long cold spells in the dead of winter. That gives one hope that if they can make it we can too. Although I’m not going out there and thrash around in the snow no matter how good those seeds taste.